I'm currently wiring up an occupancy sensor to a 3-way switch, I'm leaving one of the mechanical switches in place, and here is the wiring instructions.

according to the instructions I need to wire one of the poles on the second switch to ground (fig 5). I've never seen this before, is it safe to do? Do I wire that pole and the ground nut together to go to ground?

Multilocation configuration

  • That does seem odd, I wonder why they didn't suggest wiring it to Neutral, which should be identical to ground to the device. Interestingly, on their product page they say No neutral required, so maybe this is their way of getting around requiring a neutral and maybe the current passed to the ground is low enough to not be an issue?
    – Johnny
    Commented Aug 2, 2015 at 7:22

1 Answer 1


Follow the manufacturer's instructions for wiring the device. If the instructions say make a ground connection, then make it.

For argument's sake, that ground could very well be for nothing more than grounding the switch (so it wouldn't necessarily be a pole).

However, it is likely that this device is indeed passing some current to ground. Below is a reference from a competing manufacturer of similar products. Notice that this only becomes a concern when combined with many such (twenty!) devices, or with other devices that are prone to leaking current to ground. Also note that this is only a concern on GFCI protected circuits.

enter image description here

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.