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Jason
Jason, Service Technician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 4246
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience in all types of installations, troubleshooting, and repairs.
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I am trying to wire a light and exhaust fan to an occ

Customer Question

I am trying to wire a light and exhaust fan to an occ sensors with a GFCI.
JA: Sometimes electrical issues that that you think will be really complicated end up being easy to fix. The Electrician I'm going to connect you with knows all the tricks and shortcuts. Tell me a bit more about what's going on so we can help you best.
Customer: Original set up was a 3 gang box. Switch for the light, switch for the fan, and a GFCI. I want to connect the light and fan to a 2 load occ sensor. I will end up with 2 devices (Occ sensor and GFCI) in the box.
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Electrician should know?
Customer: Not sure, hopefully he can ask specifics if he needs to know more.
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer where you can place your fully refundable $5 deposit (plus $13 after the Electrician responds). While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Electrician about your situation and connect you two.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  Jason replied 9 months ago.

Hello. Welcome to Just Answer.

Expert:  Jason replied 9 months ago.

Are you able to post photos of the box, with all wires shown?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Thank you
Expert:  Jason replied 9 months ago.

You are most welcome. If I can see the wires in the box, it will likely help greatly in getting everything properly connected.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I will take them now.
Expert:  Jason replied 9 months ago.

Great. I'll stand by.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Here are some pics.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
This is the occ sensor I am wiring up. I want both the exhaust fan and light to turn on when someone enters the bathroom and to turn off automatically if someone leaves them on.
Expert:  Jason replied 9 months ago.

Thank you for posting the photos. It appears there are 3 sets of wires coming into the wall box. Can you confirm this for me?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
there is the line coming in from the panel, then a line out to the fan, and a line out to the light. Previously there were three devices, light switch, fan switch, and GFCI.
Expert:  Jason replied 9 months ago.

Thank you for the additional information. It sounds like you've identified each set in the box. If so, please proceed as follows...

Expert:  Jason replied 9 months ago.

The black wire from the panel will feed both devices. So, you need to connect it to each device. It goes to the black or gold screw on the GFI outlet's "LINE" terminals. All 3 white wires splice to each other, and there will be a short piece of white wire from that splice to the silver screw on the GFI outlet's "LINE" terminals. To get constant power into the other device, connect its black lead to the same hot screw on the GFI outlet as the black wire coming from the panel.

Expert:  Jason replied 9 months ago.

That is, assuming the black lead from the occupancy sensor is marked "LINE".

Expert:  Jason replied 9 months ago.

That info isn't shown in the Hubbell device brochure you posted here.

Expert:  Jason replied 9 months ago.

I just found the Hubbell wiring diagram Online, and black IS the hot feed into the device.

Expert:  Jason replied 9 months ago.

Please let me know when you've completed the suggested steps. When you have, there should be two black wires left in the wall box.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
OK, so I connect the black wire from the panel to the GFCIs line terminal. Then I have two more blacks, one that runs to the fan and one that runs to the light. What I have read so far is that I am not connecting those yet. Just connect the occ sensors black wire to the same terminal on the GFCI as the line from the panel. So the blacks running to the fan and light are not connected yet, correct?
Expert:  Jason replied 9 months ago.

Yes, that's correct.

Expert:  Jason replied 9 months ago.

When you have it connected as described, the black wires from the fan and light will be open (not connected to anything), as will the red and blue wires on the sensor. At that point, you can connect the red from the sensor to one open black, and connect the blue from the sensor to the other open black.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
OK, I have all the whites nutted together with a lead running to the GFCI. I have the black from the panel and the black from the occ sensor connected to the same terminal on the GFCI. I connected the black to the fan to the blue wire on the sensor and the light to the red.
Expert:  Jason replied 9 months ago.

That sounds correct. If you haven't already done so, I would go ahead and turn the breaker on and test operation of the GFI outlet and the sensor.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
ok, GFCI, Light, and fan are all on.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Manual override on the occ sensor seems to work for the light, but not the fan.
Expert:  Jason replied 9 months ago.

Hmm. Is it possible the sensor was damaged by a previous connection that wasn't quite right? One thing you could check is to make sure all white wires are secure in the bundled splice.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
OK, may be the ground. Just noticed the ground to the fan is not connected and the instructions say a ground is required for proper operation. I will try that.
Expert:  Jason replied 9 months ago.

OK. I have seen this in the past, where electronic occupancy sensors won't work without a ground wire properly connected.

Expert:  Jason replied 9 months ago.

I need to sign off now to attend church. I will check for your reply when I return. Thank you.

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