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BzowK 02-11-2012 01:30 PM

Cannot Get New Dimmer Switch Working Correctly
Good Afternoon All -

This weekend, my wife asked for me to install a dimmer on one of our lights in our kitchen. Easy enough, right? Well, I'm having trouble. Below is the configuration as well as what I'm trying to do.

Previous Configuration

- There are 2 lights in the kitchen. I only want to control one with the dimmer.
- There are two switch plates for these lights.
- There's one single switch plate which controls one light
- There's one dual switch plate which controls the same light from the single switch above. The 2nd switch controls the 2nd light.

Therefore, one light has one switch. The other light has two.

I went to Lowes and bought the following to replace the dual switch plate:
- 1 Switch with built in dimmer (3-way)
- 1 Switch which was standard (3-way)
- 1 Dual Plate to cover the two

When typing this, I realize I didn't need to have the dimmer a 3 way.

What I Did

I shut off the breaker then removed the dual plate which was to be replaced and took pictures.
Link if pic doesn't load...

I'm no electrician, but know basic knowledge. There were basically 4 wires. Red, x2 Grey, Black, bare ground. The grey one was connected at one point to both existing switches.

I reconnected the wires as I thought they should be and tested. The lights come on, but not the way I want them to. I've tried many different configurations by switching the wires around, but can't get it 100% correct. Below are the results that I've had:

- Dimmer light works / Other light only powers on when other switch is on.
- Dimmer controls both lights
- On / Off backwards.

Below are also pictures of the backs of the two new switches. Given those and the info above, can someone tell me how I need to configure this?

Note: I have not opened or changed anything on the other, separate switch in the room.

Standard Switch - 1 Connection on top (ground), 2 connections on side, one connection on other side
Link if pic doesn't load...

Dimmer Switch - 1 Connection on the bottom, 1 on top (ground), 2 on side (one is for 3 way.)
Link if pic doesn't load...

Any help would be MUCH appreciated - Thanks!

kbsparky 02-11-2012 02:01 PM

You need to upload another pic showing both switches from a frontal view, similar to the first pic, but with the new switch installed.

BzowK 02-11-2012 02:06 PM

Here you go!

Right side is standard switch - left is dimmer. Hope it's what you needed. Thanks!

Link in case image didn't come through...

kbsparky 02-11-2012 02:12 PM

Now fold them down, so I can see where each wire goes from each switch into which cable from the back of the box, similar to your original photo.

BzowK 02-11-2012 02:21 PM

Here you go - Took two pictures to make sure.

With the way it's wired when I took them:
- Both lights are controlled by the dimmer control on the right side
- The switch on the dimmer (right side) powers both lights on and off.
- The single switch on the left turns on the light it is supposed to - but only when the other switch for it is on


kbsparky 02-11-2012 02:39 PM

You still don't have the right view here.

I want to know where the black wire from the cable on the right side goes to.

It should be connected to the single terminal on the dimmer (marked YL).

I can't tell from your pix if it's connected there or not.

All the other black wires originating from the middle two 2-wire cables should be tied together, with pigtails going to the "common" terminal on both switches.

hammerlane 02-11-2012 03:12 PM

6 Attachment(s)
I added photos. Easier than going back and forth

hammerlane 02-11-2012 03:18 PM

1 Attachment(s)
You have 4 cables coming into the switch box, I marked them A, B, C and D.

Which cable's black wire is the incoming power source or ALWAYS HOT WIRE.

BzowK 02-11-2012 04:13 PM

Hey Everyone -

I got it to work. It turns out that one of the grey wires which connects to another must had moved when installing the new one. I swapped them back and it worked.

Thanks for your help!

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