Help diagnose Motion Detector light problem

I have a motion detector light outside of my garage that was previously installed by my electrician. Here is the way it worked. I had a wall switch connected inside the garage. When the wall switch was in the down position (off), the motion detector would go on at night, when movement occurred outside and then it would turn off after a few minutes.
However, if the wall switch was up (in the on position), then the light on the motion detector would stay on all night and go off in the morning.
Recently, the light on the motion detector would stay on all night and stay on all also during the day and never go off.
So I bought a new motion detector and replaced the existing one.
However, when I bought the new motion detector, the same problem occurs. The light stays on during the day, so that means there was probably nothing wrong with the physical motion detector, and I thought possiblye there is a problem with the wall switch or some wiring.
When I swapped out the new motion detector I notice that there were 3 wires on the motion detector (white, red and black). I notice that the wires coming out of the garage outside where the motion detector was placed has wires (white, black and red).
I was told from home depot, that the black on the motion detector is my ground. So I grounded that wire. I then connected the 2 whites together and connected the motion detector white and red to the wall white and red and also connected the black wall wire to the red wires.
So where do you think the problem is occurring and how do I fix this?
If it's the wall switch, what do I do. Do you I just by a new one?
Thanks much,
Lawrence M. Seldin, CMC, CPC
Contributing writer for FUTURES Magazine Author of RECRUITSOURCE PEOPLESOFT EXAM and RECRUITSOURCE SAP/R3 EXAM Author of POWER TIPS FOR THE APPLE NEWTON and INTRODUCTION TO CSP
NOTE: To send me an email, remove TAKEOUT from my email address: snipped-for-privacy@seldin.net
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On Jul 14, 8:21 pm, "Lawrence M. Seldin, CMC, CPC"

If it is a "regular" motion detector, the light comes on and stays on if you turn the switch on, turn it off, and the turn it on again in rapid succession. This allow you to keep it on if you need it on. Go shut the light off at the breaker, wait 5 minutes, then turn it back on and see if it resets itself.
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Lawrence M. Seldin, CMC, CPC wrote:

Why did you need instructions from HD? Where there no instructions with the detector?

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Joseph Meehan

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It sounds like the switch toggled between a photocell controlling the lights or the motion detector controlling the lights. Whatever device was controlling the lights when they stayed in the on position went bad. The black wire of a motion detector is not a ground, it gets connected to the feed hot wire, so you clearly wired it incorrectly. At this point you should probably call back the electrician to diagnose and repair the problem

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Guys,
I shut the circuit breaker off for 30 minutes. When I turned it on, the motion sensor light stayed on. As you said, there is something wrong.
I was hoping that a forum member could tell me the correct wiring of what color wires goes where to get the motion detector to behave the way it was working as. Also, to tell me, where to look for the problem.
Here is the summary, of how the motion detector used to work and the way, I want it to work...
1) When the wall switch is in the down position, the lights are triggered when motion occurs and shuts off a few minutes later.
2) When the wall switch is in the up position, the lights stay on all the time at night.
********* begin *******
Can someone explain how a wall switch affects how a motion sensor is working to produce the above way, I want it wired and the way it used to work?
********* end *********
So based on this, how do you think the wires should be "wired" and also where do you think the problem is occurring.
I am trying not to use an electrician, if I just knew what to change or replace. Since I already swapped out the old motion detector for the new one, I know that the problem is not a faulty motion detector. The problem is something else.
So you mentioned that the black from the motion detector is not a ground. If I put this on to the other black wires, should this fix the problem of that the lights always stay on and the motion is being bypassed?
Thanks much,
Lawrence M. Seldin, CMC, CPC
Contributing writer for FUTURES Magazine Author of RECRUITSOURCE PEOPLESOFT EXAM and RECRUITSOURCE SAP/R3 EXAM Author of POWER TIPS FOR THE APPLE NEWTON and INTRODUCTION TO CSP
NOTE: To send me an email, remove TAKEOUT from my email address: snipped-for-privacy@seldin.net
NOTE: My web home page: www.seldin.net
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Lawrence M. Seldin, CMC, CPC wrote:

First is that wall switch a single through single pole, in other words is it a simple on off switch or something else and if else what else?

Not all motion detectors are created equal. The work in different ways and I suspect yours is not a simple motion detector and it has a computer controlled system to change modes based on the switch, motion, and or light detection.

--
Joseph Meehan

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OK, based on your description, this is what you should have: In the junction box where the motion detector resides, assuming the floodlights are at the same location, there should be three wires entering the box, probably red, white, and black. There should be three wires on the motion detector, also red, white, and black. There should be two wires going to the floodlights, white and black. Somewhere in the circuit is a photocell,which is a device that keeps the lights on from dusk to dawn. Not knowing where in the circuit it is located, I'm going to assume it is somewhere before the above described junction box. In the junction box connect all white wires together under a wire nut. Connect the black wire from the switch to the black wire of the motion detector under a wire nut. Connect the red wire from the switch to the red wire of the motion detector and the black wires going to the flood lights under a wire nut. Connect any ground wires together and to the box. This is of course assuming one wiring scenario. It would be much better if you describe exactly the wires you see at the junction box

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RBM,
Thank you for your clear description. I am going to look at your specific directions and see how it goes. If I still have a problem, I will describe in more details the layout of the wires. However, your definition and directions seem easy to follow.
Thank you.
- Larry
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RBM,
You gave me very clear directions on how to wire my motion detector. Your directions were "right on target". They were awesome.
Sorry did not get back to you sooner. I used my kids as helpers, so that they could hold the fixture while I was hooking it up. It went a lot smoother when I was able to concentrate on your directions.
Worked like a charm.
Thank you, Thank you , Thank you...
I am one "happy puppy".
- Larry
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On Sun, 15 Jul 2007 00:21:04 GMT, "Lawrence M. Seldin, CMC, CPC"

Typically: A black or red (switched) wire is hot. A white wire is neutral. Green wire is ground.
Your wall switch, when wired to a regular lamp, should work as expected: Switch in the up position: lamp on, Switch in the down position: lamp off. If that is not the case your switch or wiring is faulty.
Otherwise, your security lamp is improperly wired. The enclosed pamphlet should provide a wiring diagram on how to connect the sensor, lamps, and load wires. Your load wires are the hot and neutral, and possibly a ground. Connect all ground wires together--these are green or bare copper wires. Connect the box and/or lamp base to the ground if these are metal.
You may need to "flash" the unit ON/OFF/ON to get it to set properly (read the manual). You should be able to use the lamp normally by just flipping the switch ON.
Safety: Whenever removing a cover plate to an electrical box double-check the circuit is OFF, and ensure that nobody may turn on the circuit! I know two people who died.
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Lawrence M. Seldin, CMC, CPC wrote:

What did the manual, the actual instructions from the manufacturer say about the installation of the new motion detector?
Not the drone from the Borg, but the actual install instructions from the manufacturer.

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Not trying to be stupid, but I did not follow this. Since the electrician setup the wiring, the way I wanted it, I figured that the motion detector could possibly have went bad. I had asked Home Depot guy for a question on wiring and you guys told me he was wrong.
What I tried to do, was to just swap out the old motion detector for the new one and reconnect the wiring that way. I was surprised that I got the same results from the old one. However, this seems to indicate there may be no problem with the motion detector but somewhere else. Maybe it's a wiring problem or some other problem related to the light turn on/off switch or the receptacle from where the motion detector / light fixtures are connecting to the outside wall.
That's why I was trying to understand the way the electrician set this up. I think, my setup, is not standard. Meaning, I did ask the electrician to change it so that the down "on/off switch" makes the motion detector go on after being tripped and then shut off. The up "on/off switch" keeps the light on all night. So I figured (that a standard way the motion detector directions are written are not what is done for my layout.
I did confirm this, because when I glanced at the instructions, they obviously, did not mention my setup.
So the answer is I did not try to follow the written instructions because of my layout is not standard on what was working and what is how the setup is.
Lawrence M. Seldin, CMC, CPC
Contributing writer for FUTURES Magazine Author of RECRUITSOURCE PEOPLESOFT EXAM and RECRUITSOURCE SAP/R3 EXAM Author of POWER TIPS FOR THE APPLE NEWTON and INTRODUCTION TO CSP
NOTE: To send me an email, remove TAKEOUT from my email address: snipped-for-privacy@seldin.net
NOTE: My web home page: www.seldin.net
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