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Old 01-11-2011, 06:16 PM   #1
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dimmer switch wiring


Hello Friends,
I am adding a dimmer switch to a single pole circuit. I had a basic on/off switch previously. attached is a rough sketch and picture. Does anyone know the proper way to wire??
Thanks in advance,
Steve
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dimmer switch wiring-dimmer-switch-1.jpg   dimmer switch wiring-dimmer-switch-sketch1.jpg  

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Last edited by Stcrosby; 01-11-2011 at 06:40 PM.
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Old 01-11-2011, 06:47 PM   #2
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dimmer switch wiring


If you are switching the neutral that is incorrect.

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Old 01-11-2011, 06:52 PM   #3
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dimmer switch wiring


Quote:
Originally Posted by Stcrosby View Post
Hello Friends,
I am adding a dimmer switch to a single pole circuit. I had a basic on/off switch previously. attached is a rough sketch and picture. Does anyone know the proper way to wire??
Thanks in advance,
Steve

I can't really tell from your drawing, but it looks like the dimmer has three terminals, which may require a neutral connection at the switch. I'd reroute the line from the receptacle to the switch first, and then on to the light fixture. You should only be switching/dimming the hot wire, not the neutral.
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Old 01-11-2011, 07:59 PM   #4
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dimmer switch wiring


The drawing and the pic are what was originally in the wall. I would like to add a dimmer switch and I am not sure what changes I need to make.
There is one hot wire and one nuetral wire coming down to the switch from the fixture.
The hot was being switched.
Ideas?

Last edited by Stcrosby; 01-11-2011 at 08:02 PM.
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Old 01-11-2011, 08:04 PM   #5
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dimmer switch wiring


If the thick line is the active line,
And the thin line is the neutral.
On the left side of the drawing.
Then the dimmer just replaces the switch on the left.
Usually there are only two wires for the dimmer.
The thin line on the left is now the active return line.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stcrosby View Post
Hello Friends,
I am adding a dimmer switch to a single pole circuit. I had a basic on/off switch previously. attached is a rough sketch and picture. Does anyone know the proper way to wire??
Thanks in advance,
Steve

Last edited by dmxtothemax; 01-11-2011 at 08:07 PM.
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Old 01-12-2011, 05:33 AM   #6
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dimmer switch wiring


Correct, the thick line is the hot wire and the thin line is the neutral. However when I did what you suggested, the dimmer switch only acted as a switch but did not dim.
I did notice the dimmer switch has 2 brass screws and one copper colored screw???
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Old 01-12-2011, 10:59 AM   #7
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dimmer switch wiring


The switch has two wires + maybe a ground.
The dimmer should have two wires + maybe a ground.
Take two wries off old switch and connect to new dimmer.
If the dimmer has three wires it is the wrong dimmer. I have never heard of a dimmer requiring a neutral.
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Old 01-12-2011, 11:39 AM   #8
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dimmer switch wiring


Quote:
Originally Posted by Stcrosby View Post
Correct, the thick line is the hot wire and the thin line is the neutral. However when I did what you suggested, the dimmer switch only acted as a switch but did not dim.
I did notice the dimmer switch has 2 brass screws and one copper colored screw???
Perhaps this is a three-way switch?
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Old 01-12-2011, 05:00 PM   #9
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dimmer switch wiring


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Originally Posted by joed View Post
The switch has two wires + maybe a ground.
The dimmer should have two wires + maybe a ground.
Take two wries off old switch and connect to new dimmer.
If the dimmer has three wires it is the wrong dimmer. I have never heard of a dimmer requiring a neutral.
The old switch had one hot wire and one nuetral wire. Are you suggesting I need 2 hot wires for the dimmer switch? Maybe the whole thing was wired incorrectly to begin with. I'm only going off of what was in the wall. i'm going to try to draw a larger, clearer sketch and repost.
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Old 01-12-2011, 05:06 PM   #10
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dimmer switch wiring


Have a look at the back of the dimmer,
Are there only two wires coming from the dimmer part ?
Most likely yes.
You are probably using the wrong terminals in the switch mechinism.
I too have not seen a dimmer that needs a neutral.

Can you post a picture of the back of the dimmer/switch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmxtothemax View Post
If the thick line is the active line,
And the thin line is the neutral.
On the left side of the drawing.
Then the dimmer just replaces the switch on the left.
Usually there are only two wires for the dimmer.
The thin line on the left is now the active return line.
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Old 01-12-2011, 05:26 PM   #11
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dimmer switch wiring


What you are calling a neutral connected to the switch is most likely part of a switch loop. The white should be supplying power to the switch. The black would be the switched hot back to the fixture.

To avoid this confusion the Code requires that the white be re-identified as a hot conductor.
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Old 01-12-2011, 05:43 PM   #12
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dimmer switch wiring


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
What you are calling a neutral connected to the switch is most likely part of a switch loop. The white should be supplying power to the switch. The black would be the switched hot back to the fixture.

To avoid this confusion the Code requires that the white be re-identified as a hot conductor.
I believe you are correct. I am not well versed with electrical circuits and terms, thus I am on this blog asking for your assistance. And much appreciated as well.

Note, I did connect the 2 wires from the old switch to the new dimmer switch and it did not work.
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Old 01-12-2011, 05:51 PM   #13
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dimmer switch wiring


Here's a pic of the back of the dimmer switch. below the pic is a link to a better sketch of what I am working with. It is a sketch of what was/is in the wall.
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dimmer switch wiring-dimmer-switch-pic.jpg  
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File Type: doc dimmer drawing.doc (27.5 KB, 49 views)

Last edited by Stcrosby; 01-12-2011 at 05:54 PM.
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Old 01-12-2011, 05:53 PM   #14
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dimmer switch wiring


Looking at the drawing the switch loop would start from the light fixture box, The correct connection would be for the white to splice to the incoming black and go the the switch. In that diagram you are not bringing the neutral to the fixture.

The fixture white would splice to the white from the incoming cable. The fixture black would splice to the black returning from the switch.

That is a 3 way switch that is not needed. You can use a single pole switch that would only have 2 screws and a green ground screw.
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Last edited by Jim Port; 01-12-2011 at 05:58 PM.
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Old 01-12-2011, 07:28 PM   #15
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dimmer switch wiring


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
Looking at the drawing the switch loop would start from the light fixture box, The correct connection would be for the white to splice to the incoming black and go the the switch. In that diagram you are not bringing the neutral to the fixture.

The fixture white would splice to the white from the incoming cable. The fixture black would splice to the black returning from the switch.

That is a 3 way switch that is not needed. You can use a single pole switch that would only have 2 screws and a green ground screw.
jim thanks for your time.
I'm trying to understand what you are suggesting. Is this correct, I need to remove and seperate the wire nut(above the light fixture) and splice the white wire coming from the junction box to the white exiting the light fixture going to the switch? Then splice the black wire returning form the switch to the black wire entering the fixture from the junction box??
Also, the switch claims it can be used as a single pole or a 3way.

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