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Old 11-18-2010, 12:47 PM   #1
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2 way dimmer & 3 way switch


There is a 2 way dimmer switch that controls the light intensity in the kitchen
eating area. This dimmer is wired into a 3-way switch that controls a light just
outside the eating area. I want to retain the dimmer effect for the kitchen
but not have the dimming effect on the outside light.
I believe the power source to the outside light is from the kitchen light.
Do I need to run a new power source to the outside light, or is there a way
of removing the one lead from the dimmer switch from also controlling the intensity of the outside light?

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Old 11-18-2010, 01:55 PM   #2
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2 way dimmer & 3 way switch


A two-way dimmer wired into a 3-way switch?! How certain are you of this? Does the three-way switch contol the kitchen light, a light just outside the eating area, the outside light, or some combination of these and/or other lights? Does the 2-way dimmer only control the light in the kitchen eating area? Does the 2-way dimmer currently have any effect on any other light?

How do you want the controls to work? You want the 2-way dimmer to control only the kitchen light and none other? You want the 3-way switch to control only the "outside" light and none other? You want no other switches to control either of these two lights?

Can you describe the wiring between your various switches and lights? I suspect it will be impossible to advise you based on the data you have provided thus far or without a lot of speculation.

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Old 11-18-2010, 02:07 PM   #3
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2 way dimmer & 3 way switch


What is a two way switch? In the US you have single pole switches which operate something from one location, a three way which operates something from 2 locations or a 4 way which is added to control something in addition to the three ways.
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Old 11-18-2010, 03:57 PM   #4
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2 way dimmer & 3 way switch


OK. I'll try this again. Forgive me I'm a Canadian who winters in Florida.

In the kitchen area there is a light fixture that is controlled by a two pole
(wire) dimmer. One of the black wires from the dimmer is fixed to the hot
(black) wire from the light I believe. There is a receptacle directly below the
dimmer & switch. There is a total of four wires coming into the box.
I believe one is from the receptacle below, one from the kitchen light,
one to the light just outside the kitchen in the lanaii (all three of these have black, white and ground wires. The fourth runs from the 3 pole switch to
a 4 pole switch in the living area (it has black, red, white & ground).
The second black wire from the dimmer connects with a black wire I
believe to be going to the outside light and a black wire to the 3-pole switch.
This black wire is attached to the pole on the 3 -pole switch directly below
the pole where the red wire is attached.

To turn the outside light on i must have the dimmer on. If the dimmer is
on, I can turn the lanai light on or off with the 3 pole switch the dimmer is
connected to. The 4 pole switch in the living room will only turn the
lanai light off, not on. Directly above the 4-pole switch in the living room
and connected to it is a 2-pole switch that turns the light in the lanai fan off.

I'm not concerned about the switches in the living room because we never
use them anyway.

What I want to do is have the dimmer only control the kitchen light not
it and the lanai light and if I'm really lucky have the 3-pole switch the dimmer
is presently wired to control the lanai light.

Not being an electrician, but a veterinarian, this seems complex.

My original thought was to disconnect the dimmer from the 3-pole
switch and find another source for the lanai light. HELP!!!
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Old 11-18-2010, 04:07 PM   #5
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2 way dimmer & 3 way switch


The 4 way switch in the living room will turn the lanai light on or off
only if the the kitchen light is on. If the kitchen light is off it has no
effect on the lanai light which leads me to believe the power source for the lanai light comes from the kitchen light.
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Old 11-18-2010, 04:42 PM   #6
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2 way dimmer & 3 way switch


Ok. This is getting more clear. However, you are now mentioning three switches (whereas before I thought you mentioned only two): a "two pole", "three pole" and "four pole".

Quote:
In the kitchen area there is a light fixture that is controlled by a two pole
(wire) dimmer.
Quote:
The fourth runs from the 3 pole switch to a 4 pole switch in the living area
How many total switches are you asking about here? How many switches are in the switch box in the kitchen area? How many switches are in the box in the living area? For the three- and four- pole switches, how many wire connections do they have?

My working theory is that you have three switches; two in the kitchen and one in the living area. The way they SHOULD work is that you should be able to turn on and off the eating area light by the dimmer only and that you should be able to turn the lanaii light on or off by either the second switch in the kitchen or the switch in the living area (and regardless of the dimmer switch). Does this sound correct to you.

If so, I think this is easy to correct.

BTW, I believe you have, technically, a single pole/single throw switch and two single pole/double throw switches. I suspect you have no double pole, triple pole, or four pole switches.
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Old 11-18-2010, 04:56 PM   #7
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2 way dimmer & 3 way switch


I apologize if I'm confusing.
In the kitchen switch box is 1) a dimmer switch with two black wires and a ground
and 2) a 3-pole switch with 2 black wires, a red wire and a ground.

The dimmer controls BOTH the kitchen and lanai light. If the dimmer is off
I cannot turn the lanai light on.

There is also a 4-pole switch in the living room ( 2 black and 2 red wires)
This switch will turn the lanai light on and off ONLY if the dimmer in the
kitchen is on.

Let's forget about the other 2 black wire switch that controls the fan in the
lanai and is hooked to the 4-pole switch mentioned above, since it really isn't
an issue. I simply mentioned it because it is wired to the 4-pole switch.

Thank you for taking the time to assist me

Last edited by paulegan25; 11-18-2010 at 05:38 PM.
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Old 11-18-2010, 07:30 PM   #8
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2 way dimmer & 3 way switch


Is the lanai switch connected to the dimmer? If it is connected (probably by one wire) then simply connect the lanai switch to the other wire on the dimmer. The other wire is the power wire. The wire it is connected to now is the controlled wire.
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Old 11-18-2010, 07:53 PM   #9
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2 way dimmer & 3 way switch


Thank you for your reply. I've described to the best of my ability the wiring
scheme in #4 of this thread. If I attach the 2nd dimmer wire to the lanai switch
it will no longer control the kitchen light but the lanai light which is exactly the
opposite of what I'm trying to accomplish unless I'm really missing something here.
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Old 11-18-2010, 08:56 PM   #10
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2 way dimmer & 3 way switch


I think at least one portion of this is wired incorrectly. I think the feed to one switch might be one the wrong side of the switch. It is unusual to need to turn one switch on to get another to work.
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Old 11-18-2010, 09:03 PM   #11
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I think I need to get a licensed electrician to sort this out
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Old 11-20-2010, 08:51 AM   #12
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I have an electrician coming on Monday to sort this out.
I'll post what he finds/does.
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Old 11-20-2010, 03:54 PM   #13
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Sounds like a good plan. I look forward to hearing.
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Old 11-22-2010, 12:13 PM   #14
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2 way dimmer & 3 way switch


The electrician took about 2 minutes to figure it out. The
wires from the two pole dimmer were reversed. He corrected
that and now things are exactly the way I wanted them to be.
I'm a much happier man.
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Old 11-22-2010, 01:37 PM   #15
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2 way dimmer & 3 way switch


Great. I am happy it worked out for you. This is consistent with the advice from several who have responded.

Sometimes it is more work describing (words, pictures) the problem than it is just to get someone in to fix it.

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