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Old 12-21-2011, 01:52 PM   #1
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Help Wiring Dimmer Switch

Old dimmer switch busted when I pulled off the knob to get to the switchplate. (Trying to take switchplate off so I could paint the wall) After I examined the knob it looks like the previous owner painted the electrical parts and put the knob on when paint was still wet, which cause the knob to bond with the switch. When I pulled the knob off, well.... the switch doesn't work anymore unless you push really really hard on the button... Anyway, bought a replacement dimmer switch of the same style (just one of those push button dimmers with a round knob where you rotate the knob to make it dimmer or brighter).

Here's my dilemma... Old switch has 2 black wires. New switch has 2 black wires and a green wire. I checked the wiring in the little box in my wall and I couldn't find a green grounding wire, so what do I do with the green one on the new switch? My house was built in 1988 and I'm thinking electrical standards have changed since the house was built.


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Old 12-21-2011, 02:12 PM   #2
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If you have a metal box, the box may be ground. You will need a meter to test from the box to one of the black wires to see if you have 120 volts. If you have a grounded box get a green grounding screw and connect to the tapped hole in the back of the box.

If you have a plastic box or a metal box with no ground, tape up the end of the green wire, connect the 2 blacks to the switch and install it.


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Old 12-21-2011, 10:26 PM   #3
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If the house was built in 1988, the wiring should have a ground in it, if plastic boxes were used. Is there a bare copper wire tucked in the back?

If the box is metal, see rj's post above.

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