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PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2016 5:46 pm 
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I've got a Photo Cell Unit screwed to the side of the house which turns on two garden lights in the evening and off in the morning. Sadly, notwithstanding that the sun has been shining for most of the day, the two lights have stubbornly refused to switch themselves off. So I bought a replacement Photo Cell Unit on the assumption that it needed replacement. However, having fitted the new Photo Cell Unit, the problem persists....

Any suggestions as to a cure would be appreciated....


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2016 6:12 pm 
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If it did work, and now it doesn't after you have changed the photocell sounds like:

1) It is wired wrong
2) It has an error
3) It actually switches a relay / contactor and this switches the lights, and this is staying energised.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2016 6:46 pm 
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Good points.

1) Well if it did work then has anyone has messed with any other switches on the lighting circuit
2) Both Photocells? Doubtful - I very seldom have to swap photocells because they are faulty.
3) Possible - and I'll add the possibility of an override switch that has been switched on.

As for cures - well if it is the typical "mushroom" photo cell that I fit how about removing the head to see if the lights turn off?



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2016 8:06 pm 
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@ Someone-else. Thanks for reporting that as being a lighting issue. It's staying in this forum.



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2016 12:09 pm 
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Many thanks for your input, guys.

OnlyMe. When I remove the head of the "mushroom" photo cell the lights turn off!

Does this tell us anything? Thanks.

I should mention that I replaced one of the two bulbs and the first occasion the lights failed to switch off was the following morning.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2016 3:16 pm 
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Probably superfluous to state (but I will anyway) that the lights come back on when I re-attach the head of the "mushroom" photo cell.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2016 4:16 pm 
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Is there something in the head of the photocell that is blocking the sensor but shouldn't be. The head is clearly making the sensor think it's dark!

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2016 6:44 pm 
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peterfoster wrote:
Probably superfluous to state (but I will anyway) that the lights come back on when I re-attach the head of the "mushroom" photo cell.


Any chance of removing it and testing it with say a table lamp and a plug and socket? It would prove that it was not faulty.



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2016 11:18 am 
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Thanks for your further suggestions.

Ktuludays. The sensor itself seems to be enclosed in a single "assembly" with the "mushroom" lid at the top. There doesn't seem to be an obvious way to get inside the "assembly" to see if there is anything blocking the sensor. To get the mushroom shaped plastic lid off is it just a question of shoving a screwdriver down the side and trying to ease it away from the rest of the unit? There don't appear to be any screws to undo. I don't want to just attack it and risk damage if there is a "proper" way to gain access to the sensor. Of course, the unit is brand new so I'll be pretty peeved if, having removed the plastic "mushroom" top, I find out that the sensor is blocked in some way....

OnlyMe. That seems a good way forward. Could you please describe the connections involved. I have a table lamp with a three-pin plug on it but am having trouble coming up with a way of connecting it to the Photo Cell Unit to be able to carry out the test.

Thanks.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2016 6:31 pm 
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You need another "socket" that it plugs into to test it. Either that or you take down the one that is there already.

Have you checked to see if there is a contactor / relay switching the lights?

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2016 7:25 pm 
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someone-else wrote:
You need another "socket" that it plugs into to test it. Either that or you take down the one that is there already.



Agreed



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2016 7:39 pm 
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someone-else wrote:
Have you checked to see if there is a contactor / relay switching the lights?


I don't believe that matters any more. If the removal of the head turns off the lights then any contactor must be working correctly.

It also removes any possibility of an over ride switch that I suggested.


:scratch:



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2016 10:41 pm 
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Re contactor:

I am thinking if the photocell is "leaking" just enough to keep a relay energised, but once its removed so is the source of the "leak" so the lights will switch off. (The relay switches off)

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Take it easy, a forum is only a collection of opinions. Above, are mine.

Which is correct? Metre or Meter? Click the link. to find out more.

No such thing as "Thou shalt put this wire here, Thou shalt put that wire there" .............Take a picture BEFORE you do the job.

If gloom had a voice, it would be me. :mrgreen:

:idea1: How to post a picture on this forum Click here



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2016 3:54 pm 
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I'd like to test the Photo Cell Unit as suggested by posters in this topic.

Could someone please explain to me the steps necessary to achieve this.

I have the following which of course I need to connect up in a certain way-

1. A table lamp with a three pin plug on the end.

2. 2 x Photo Cell Units (that's the old unit which I assumed had failed and the new unit which also doesn't function correctly in situ)

Each Photo Cell Unit consists of the following-

(a) A sealed unit which contains the sensor, with a plastic "mushroom" top which seems to be a sealed unit although I could, if advised so to do, attempt to prise the plastic mushroom top from the rest of the unit thus exposing the sensor itself to examination....
(b) A mechanism into which one connects the earth, live and neutral wires from the mains supply.

(a) slots into the top of (b) and is turned clockwise to lock it into position.

Apologies for requiring additional guidance here. I attach a picture of the instructions which accompanied the unit as these might help. Thanks.

Image


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2016 6:43 pm 
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someone-else wrote:
Re contactor:

I am thinking if the photocell is "leaking" just enough to keep a relay energised, but once its removed so is the source of the "leak" so the lights will switch off. (The relay switches off)



I believe that the OP's photocell is a relay operated one. That should mean no leaking.

And still :scratch:



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