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-   -   Help with dimmer switch and ceiling fixture (http://www.diychatroom.com/f18/help-dimmer-switch-ceiling-fixture-29777/)

Janice MacDonald 10-11-2008 06:50 PM

Help with dimmer switch and ceiling fixture
 
I blew my dimmer switch while changing the ceiling fixture.

Now I have replaced with a new dimmer switch, and wired it just as the old one (one black wire to the black, one black wire to the red) and it won't work.

What am I doing wrong?

I shorted it changing the light fixture, but have reworked the light fixture, which was working when I flipped the breaker but wouldn't turn off, so I figured the problem was with the dimmer, right?

Help!

InPhase277 10-11-2008 07:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Janice MacDonald (Post 171057)
I blew my dimmer switch while changing the ceiling fixture.

Now I have replaced with a new dimmer switch, and wired it just as the old one (one black wire to the black, one black wire to the red) and it won't work.

What am I doing wrong?

I shorted it changing the light fixture, but have reworked the light fixture, which was working when I flipped the breaker but wouldn't turn off, so I figured the problem was with the dimmer, right?

Help!

Did you by chance happen to buy a three way dimmer instead of a single pole dimmer? By the way... that circuit shouldn't have been hot when you were working on it...:no:

Janice MacDonald 10-11-2008 10:00 PM

Thanks for responding
 
No, it's a single pole dimmer.

BTW, it wasn't hot when I was working on it...it shorted when I threw the breaker.

InPhase277 10-11-2008 10:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Janice MacDonald (Post 171152)
No, it's a single pole dimmer.

BTW, it wasn't hot when I was working on it...it shorted when I threw the breaker.

When you say you reworked the fixture, do you mean that you found the short and cleared it, or do you mean that you changed the wiring in the light box? Tell us what you have as far as wiring in the ceiling box and the switch box.

Janice MacDonald 10-11-2008 10:21 PM

the adventures so far
 
I was changing the light fixture. I took out the old chandelier, and was wiring in the new fixture, but screwed up.

I wired white to white, black to black and then couldn't figure out what the red wire was. The diagram showed the grounder wired to a grounding wire coming out of the ceiling, so stupid me, I figured that was it...I wrapped it around the grounding screw, and then twisted it up with the red wire.

I went down to throw the breaker.

My husband heard a loud pop and then smelled ozone, and the lights went off.

I shut off the breaker.

Someone told me, oh no, wire the red wire to the black fixture wire, and white to white.

I did that.

The lights came on when the breaker went on, but we couldn't turn them off at the switch, leading me to believe I'd fried the dimmer.

So I went and bought a new, single dimmer, put it in just like the old one had been wired up (black to black and black to red) and replaced it.

When the breaker was put on, the light won't turn on at all.

And that's where I'm at now.

Any advice would be appreciated.

InPhase277 10-11-2008 10:28 PM

I think something is wired wrong at the light box. You say you have a red wire in the light box? Take the switch out, and wire the two wires going to the switch together. If the light works, you know you have a bad switch. If it still doesn't work, then you have to change something in your box wiring.

Janice MacDonald 10-11-2008 10:37 PM

okay...tomorrow, I hook the black wire to the red wire in the switch box, and then go and flip on the breaker, and if the lights go on, then there's something wrong wiht the new dimmer I bought, but if they don't go on, then there's something wrong with the wires themselves?...oh lord.

Thank you.

can an electrician fix that, if that's the case? Or have I just screwed the entire dining room for light?

InPhase277 10-11-2008 10:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Janice MacDonald (Post 171174)
okay...tomorrow, I hook the black wire to the red wire in the switch box, and then go and flip on the breaker, and if the lights go on, then there's something wrong wiht the new dimmer I bought, but if they don't go on, then there's something wrong with the wires themselves?...oh lord.

Thank you.

can an electrician fix that, if that's the case? Or have I just screwed the entire dining room for light?

Yes an electrician can fix it, but what I mean is, if you have changed how any of the wires were attached to each other somewhere, then you could have caused the problem. But the wires themselves aren't likely to be damaged. Let's start at the switch. Try bypassing the switch tomorrow, then we'll know more.

Janice MacDonald 10-11-2008 10:46 PM

Thanks so much...

You know, I called my father-in-law in Alabama today for advice. I guess somehow I knew advice would be available from around there!

g'night!

Janice MacDonald 10-12-2008 09:39 AM

Me again the next morning
 
Well, I took off the dimmer and put the red and the black together, but nothing happened.

Now what?

I am thinking...the dimmer is fine.
The light fixture is fine (it was on but unable to turn off, when the old blown dimmer was still hooked up).

Something in the way I am wiring the new dimmer is off?

InPhase277 10-12-2008 09:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Janice MacDonald (Post 171276)
Well, I took off the dimmer and put the red and the black together, but nothing happened.

Now what?

I am thinking...the dimmer is fine.
The light fixture is fine (it was on but unable to turn off, when the old blown dimmer was still hooked up).

Something in the way I am wiring the new dimmer is off?

Look inside the switch box and describe exactly what you have in there. Tell us what wire comes from what cable and how they are connected.

Janice MacDonald 10-12-2008 09:47 AM

btw
 
By light box, you mean the outlet on the ceiling?

Or the switch?

Janice MacDonald 10-12-2008 09:51 AM

The insides of the switch box
 
There are three white wires, twisted together and capped off.
There is a copper wire on its own at the back of the box.
There are three black wires, capped with a small stretch of single black wire coming out to meet the dimmer wire.
There is a single red wire, which was also attached to a black dimmer wire.

InPhase277 10-12-2008 09:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Janice MacDonald (Post 171280)
There are three white wires, twisted together and capped off.
There is a copper wire on its own at the back of the box.
There are three black wires, capped with a small stretch of single black wire coming out to meet the dimmer wire.
There is a single red wire, which was also attached to a black dimmer wire.

It sounds to me like your light at the ceiling box needs to be connected to a white wire and a red wire. Ok, so what wires do you have in the ceiling box? And do you have a meter for testing voltage?

Janice MacDonald 10-12-2008 10:02 AM

In the ceiling box
 
in the ceiling box there is a white wire, a black wire and a red wire.

There is no grounding wire.


IN the light fixture, there is a white, a black and a grounding wire.

At first I accidentally attached the ground wire to the ceiling red wire, and that's what caused all the problems.

I have since attached white to white, red to black fixture, ground wire to grounding screw, and capped the black wire in the ceiling and left it alone.

Thing is...it seems to me all three (black and white and red in the ceiling box) were attached to the previous light fixture, but that light was so old it didn't have black and white wires at all....just two gold plastic coated wires, and one uncoated wire. So I don't know.


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