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Old 10-20-2008, 10:45 PM   #1
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Home interior dimmer switch


I am trying to identify as to whether an intermittent flash of light from inside my dining room dimmer switch is proper or if it is a short, which requires replacement of the switch itself. The dimmer switch unit is approx 2" deep and is attached to a metal faceplate that can be affixed to the outlet box by two screws. The switch works by pushing it in for on and off. Just below and above the circular shaft are two small holes through the metal plate without any function that I can see. When the switch is off, there is an intermittent flash of light (maybe a spark?) that can be seen by looking into the lower hole. This light seems to flash whether the switch is set at on or off. Any ideas as to what is causing this flash, if it is an electrical short, etc???

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Old 10-20-2008, 11:28 PM   #2
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Home interior dimmer switch


Are you saying that when the switch is idle, it periodically flashes a blue spark inside it? That may happen when turning on or off (even then, I haven't seen this from a dimmer), but definitely not when idle. What's the wattage of the dimmer? What's the wattage of the light(s) being controlled? Your average dimmer is 600 W. I would replace it with a new dimmer sized according to the wattage of the light(s).

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Old 10-21-2008, 06:51 AM   #3
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Home interior dimmer switch


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Originally Posted by waltersawicki View Post
I am trying to identify as to whether an intermittent flash of light from inside my dining room dimmer switch is proper or if it is a short, which requires replacement of the switch itself. The dimmer switch unit is approx 2" deep and is attached to a metal faceplate that can be affixed to the outlet box by two screws. The switch works by pushing it in for on and off. Just below and above the circular shaft are two small holes through the metal plate without any function that I can see. When the switch is off, there is an intermittent flash of light (maybe a spark?) that can be seen by looking into the lower hole. This light seems to flash whether the switch is set at on or off. Any ideas as to what is causing this flash, if it is an electrical short, etc???
Is this a lighted switch? I have seen the lights on switches go bad and just flash once in a while.

The dimmer switches go bad, I just replaced one, It was flickering, and time to replace it. The nice dimmer switches are around $10 at Home Depot, Lowes, etc.

I like the dimmer switches that look like this:

http://www.drillspot.com/products/29..._Toggle_Dimmer


The dimmer switches are available with pig tails (wires) that are already attached to the switch or with screws / push in connections on the switch.
I strongly suggest that everyone uses screw on connections. You use the solid wire that comes into your box, and you loop the ends around the screw, and tighten down the screw.

Turn the power off before you change the switch. Use a meter to make sure the power is dead in the box before you change it. REMEMBER THAT IF THERE IS MORE THAN ONE SWITCH IN THE BOX THAT THERE CAN BE MORE THAN ONE CIRCUIT IN THE BOX - SO JUST BECAUSE YOU TURN OFF ONE BREAKER AND THE LIGHT IS OFF, DOES NOT MEAN THAT THE ENTIRE BOX IS DEAD.

Good Luck
Jamie
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