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Old 03-15-2008, 10:40 PM   #1
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Dimmer didn't work, now old light switches don't work properly


I have an electrical issue. I have 2 light switches in my dining room. I was going to put a dimmer switch in place of the other normal switches. After replacing them, the dimmer switch didn't really work. It would actually light up once, turn off, then brighten all the way all in turning the switch all the way on. Now when I replaced them with the old switches. One will turn on and off the light while the other one won't turn on the lights. Can you help?

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Old 03-15-2008, 10:48 PM   #2
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Dimmer didn't work, now old light switches don't work properly


3 way dimmer. You wired it incorrectly.

What color wires in the sw box??

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Old 03-16-2008, 08:12 AM   #3
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Dimmer didn't work, now old light switches don't work properly


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Originally Posted by townpump View Post
I have an electrical issue. I have 2 light switches in my dining room. I was going to put a dimmer switch in place of the other normal switches. After replacing them, the dimmer switch didn't really work. It would actually light up once, turn off, then brighten all the way all in turning the switch all the way on. Now when I replaced them with the old switches. One will turn on and off the light while the other one won't turn on the lights. Can you help?
3-way dimmer at one-location only. You will only be able to dim at one of the switches. The other will remain a standard 3-way switch. Hope thats helps.

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Old 03-16-2008, 09:26 AM   #4
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Dimmer didn't work, now old light switches don't work properly


I will try the dimmer only on one switch and see if that works. Thanks
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Old 03-16-2008, 12:35 PM   #5
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Dimmer didn't work, now old light switches don't work properly


I was going to put a dimmer switch in place of the other normal switches.


Crap....I missed the plural.
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Old 03-16-2008, 07:21 PM   #6
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Dimmer didn't work, now old light switches don't work properly


One thing that keeps happening is that switch 1 will turn on and off the light. If switch 1 turns off the light, switch 2 will not turn on the light. It will happen the opposite way also. If switch 2 turns off the light, switch 1 will not turn on the light. Let me know if that makes sense. How can I get back to turning on and off the light with both switches?
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Old 03-16-2008, 07:40 PM   #7
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Dimmer didn't work, now old light switches don't work properly


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How can I get back to turning on and off the light with both switches?

Wire it correctly.


Both the dimmer and the sw have 3 terminals (or wires on the dimmer)

On the switch it is marked common and is a darker color.

On the dimmer it is probably black with the other 2 being red.

Look in your sw boxes. You need to identify the common wire in each of them. That's why I saked the wire colors earlier.

There are several ways that it could be wired. The easiest way for YOU is to look into the box and see which TWO of the 3 wires wires go together into the 3 wire cable. The common will be the OTHER wire.


The common wire goes to the common terminal or pigtail. The other two are interchangable.
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Old 03-16-2008, 08:03 PM   #8
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Dimmer didn't work, now old light switches don't work properly


The other problem is that there are 3 house wires that are all black . On the dimmer switch there are 4 wires, 2 red, 1 black, 1 green. Which ones go where? I think that the dimmer which has a tag that says not to remove for a single pole. I will remove it and check and see what happens.
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Old 03-16-2008, 08:09 PM   #9
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Dimmer didn't work, now old light switches don't work properly


You got the common wire in the wrong place on or more of your switches. The common screw is the black one or the one marked COMMON.
The dimmer black is common, green is the ground, reds are the travelers.

Last edited by joed; 03-17-2008 at 11:30 AM.
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Old 03-16-2008, 08:28 PM   #10
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Dimmer didn't work, now old light switches don't work properly


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On the dimmer switch there are 4 wires, 2 red, 1 black, 1 green.Which ones go where?

Dude...you need to learn to folow instruction.

Quote:
On the dimmer it (the common) is probably black with the other 2 being red.

I don't know why all 3 wires are black at the sw box. Without a voltage tester you will need to do a process of elimination. You probably should have looked before you disconnected them, huh?



PS. green is ground and it goes to the green or bare wires in the box (if you have any)

If you post a clear pic of the box, it MAY help



Quote:
The dimmer red is common, green is the ground, black are the travelers.
Don't confuse him any more. The RED are travelers.


Last edited by 220/221; 03-16-2008 at 08:31 PM.
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