enter image description hereI installed a new ceiling fan in our living room that came with a remote. Per the fan instructions all of the wires were connected properly but I had a left over red wire from the old fan. I capped it off properly. On the wall plate the old fan had a separate switch to turn the light on/off and then a rotary dial switch to control the fan on/off and speed. I ended up not using the rotary dial switch and have everything connected to other switch and leave it on so the remote will work. All good with one exception...

After all this my porch lights, which are tied to a dawn/dusk sensor, quit working (the sensor). The lights will come on when the switch is flipped on but no sensor operation. I climbed up and opened up the photocell and low and behold there is a common red wire in there; then I went to the breaker box and discovered my living room ceiling fan and the front porch lights are on the same breaker. Since I capped off the red wire from the box up where the new ceiling fan is mounted I'm assuming that is causing my problem with the porch sensor? Where do I connect the red wire I capped off at the ceiling fan, thank you. Wall switch, beige one everything is now wired to-must stay in on position)

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    – HoneyDo
    Apr 4 '20 at 14:51
  • 2
    BTW: you'll need to use a blank filler plate to fill that toggle-switch opening in your current wallplate since you took the switch out Apr 4 '20 at 16:46
  • Thx ThreePaseEel! Apr 4 '20 at 16:56
  • On the fan speed control, how were the wires connected? Were any wires connected right next to each other / on the same screw etc.? Apr 4 '20 at 19:48

Before you do anything else try resetting the wall switch for the porch light. When you turned off power to the fan (and the porch light) it probably affected the sensor setting. Check your instructions for resetting the sensor from your installation pamphlet or on-line.
The red wire in the fan is probably only part of the switch loop you're not using any longer.

  • thanks HonedDo, I was wondering about that, I'll look up the instructions on the sensor Apr 4 '20 at 15:55
  • Looked up the instructions, pretty straight forward. At dusk the lights should be electrified by the sensor and thus sets the dawn to dusk activation. I included another photograph of the switch where I had capped off red wires; I noticed there were two red wires; kind of assumed one goes to the porch the other to the old ceiling fan. Just trying to further troubleshoot whether I in fact have a bad sensor. Apr 4 '20 at 16:48
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    @RickOppman Why would you have a bad sensor? You didn't touch the sensor. You did touch something else. If you have any troubleshooting chops, that should be a huge red flag for you. If the sensor is not bad, it means you messed something up here. Tearing into a second thing while you haven't fixed the first thing will only make things much, much worse. Apr 4 '20 at 19:36
  • If you haven't touched the wiring to the porch light switch the wiring shouldn't be the problem. Do you have a model number for the motion sensor?
    – HoneyDo
    Apr 4 '20 at 20:40

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