Question about Prime 10 Amp Circuit Breaker

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Photocell and circuit breaker

I bought a Steinel 3000 photocell. In instructions it says it needs to be installed next to 10amp circuit breaker. Is there a need to buy a separate box or will the fuse board do the same job?

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  • 1730833 Feb 27, 2009


    Thanks for reply! Just to clarify, would 3amp fused switch do the same job (the whole system is on 30amp circuit breaker)?


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Hi, Here is my clarification of the instructions for you. The photocell must be protected by at least a 10 amp circuit breaker. The photocell may be installed next to the light fixture. ( not the breaker). Good Luck, this should Fixya!

Posted on Feb 27, 2009

  • Jim London
    Jim London Feb 27, 2009

    Hi, The specs call for a 10 amp minimum, usually this is to allow for the 1000W switching capability without knowing the exact current draw. Since I do not know what you are switching I would only be guessing at your success with not constantly blowing the 3 amp fuse. If you have several fuses you can certainly try it, if it doesn't work, I believe a 10 amp fused switch may be less expensive than adding new wiring and breaker. Good Luck to you!


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My son bought a new house. It has an Intermatic K4221 photo cell that never appears to work. It looks like it is connected to porch lights. They won't come on either by photocell or manual light switch. He...

Place tape over photocell lens, and flash switch off-on. Did the light come on?If you know how - remove the photocell from the circuit and see if the light works. If the light works, then the photocell is probably bad. Check power from switch to photocell with test meter.

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You have 120volt photocell.

Wiring sounds correct.
Lights are on all the time, even in daylight.
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I would like a wiring diagram for an outdoor receptacle controlled by a photocell. Photo cell has 1 each black wire, red wire and white wire.

If I understand correctly, you want to add a photocell to existing receptacle.

Start by looking at receptacle:
Receptacle has 3 different colored screws.
Green screw for bare ground wire
Brass screws with black Hot wire connected.
Silver screws with white Neutral wire.

How to wire photocell to receptacle.
Remove black Hot wire off of brass screw and connect black wire to photocell-black wire. This will power the photocell switch.
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Aquaman987 - Tonight I hid the photocell between two transformers, definitely NO ambient light, no luck. Placed black electrical tape over the photocell, no luck. On again and off again in 2 to 32 minute...

1) If this is new installation: Check wiring.
Black to Hot from breaker.
White to Neutral from breaker box.
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Neutral wire is necessary to operate photoeye.

2) If installation worked at one time but doesn't work now, then photocell is bad.
Or if photocell is new, they arrive defective sometimes.
Proof is your black-tape test.
Buy new photocell from Home Center electric department, or lighting department and connect wiring as described above.

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Wireing diagram do not no were thay go three wires

K4221C photo cell page at Intermatic:

Photocell has black, white and red wires on photocell.
Black goes to Hot from breaker.
White goes to Neutral from breaker box
Red goes to Load (light)

Electricians don't guess, they test.
You should have one wire coming from breaker box, and another set of wires going to light.
Separate wires for testing.
Since you are outdoors, stand on dry boards and tape tester leads to wood sticks to keep hands away from power.
Turn power ON
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Tester lights up on hot wire. This wire should be black.
Hot wire connects to photocell black

Hot is identified.
Test Hot wire to all wires except bare ground.
Tester lights up on neutral. This wire should be white.
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Now the other cable goes to Load. This cable has a black and white wire.
Connect photocell red to black Load wire
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Ground wires are twisted together.

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Lights do not come on at all. Breaker is not tripped. How do I test photocell?

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Lights are on in daylight

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