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Old 03-25-2013, 12:51 AM   #1
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Problem with my new dimmer's wiring


Hey everyone,

I'm trying to replace a light switch to a dimmer switch for my bedroom but the process isn't going too well as I would expect.

The old light switch only controls one single light fixture on the ceiling and I'm gonna replace it by a dimmer switch.

The new dimmer switch has one white "neutral" wire, one black "line" wire, one red "load" wire and one copper "ground" wire. They are clearly labelled so there shouldn't be any problem.

The problem I have is the wiring in the junction box. There are 3 white wires connected using a connector cap and those wires has to be the neutral wires. This leaves me with 3 black wires connected to the old switch, two of the black wires connected to the bottom with the last black wire connected to the top. However, I don't see any bare copper wire or green wire in the box except I can only see there are 2 copper wire bolted at the back of the box. Are they the ground wires?

Therefore, is it true that I just do the following: Connect the "neutral" wire from the new dimmer with the 3 white that are capped in the box? The two black wires connected to the bottom are my "hot" wire and "switch leg" and just connect them to the "line" wire of the new dimmer? The last black wire connected to the top are the one that connect to the "load" wire of the new switch?

If what I mention above are right, it leaves me the ground wire from the new dimmer. What should I do with it? Do I connect it to one of the bolt if they are truly the ground wires? Or should I buy a pigtail to connect the ground wire?

Any suggestion on this one? Thanks in advance!

Cheers!

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Old 03-25-2013, 04:58 AM   #2
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Problem with my new dimmer's wiring


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This leaves me with 3 black wires connected to the old switch, two of the black wires connected to the bottom with the last black wire connected to the top.
There were 3 wires connected to the old switch which has 3 terminals?

Do you have a second switch somewhere that also operates the light? If so, I believe the old switch you took out is a "3-way switch".

Answer this, and we'll continue.

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Old 03-25-2013, 07:12 AM   #3
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Problem with my new dimmer's wiring


Do you have a tester? Are the black wires the incoming power?

I have never seen a dimmer switch that had a neutral-----what would a switch need a neutral for?

Better get out your tester and the instructions---connecting a switch to a power and a neutral will create a dead short----
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Old 03-25-2013, 07:24 AM   #4
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Problem with my new dimmer's wiring


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Originally Posted by Barrymwf View Post
This leaves me with 3 black wires connected to the old switch, two of the black wires connected to the bottom with the last black wire connected to the top. However, I don't see any bare copper wire or green wire in the box except I can only see there are 2 copper wire bolted at the back of the box. Are they the ground wires?
Is the old switch a single pole switch? Can you provide a photo of the new dimmer?
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Old 03-25-2013, 10:10 AM   #5
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Problem with my new dimmer's wiring


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Originally Posted by sirsparksalot View Post
There were 3 wires connected to the old switch which has 3 terminals?

Do you have a second switch somewhere that also operates the light? If so, I believe the old switch you took out is a "3-way switch".

Answer this, and we'll continue.
No it has only 2 terminals. One wire is connected to the terminal on top and the other two wires are connected to the bottom (one on the screw and one plugged in).

No so I believe it's only a single pole switch.

Thanks!

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Originally Posted by oh'mike View Post
Do you have a tester? Are the black wires the incoming power?

I have never seen a dimmer switch that had a neutral-----what would a switch need a neutral for?

Better get out your tester and the instructions---connecting a switch to a power and a neutral will create a dead short----
My brother has one but he couldn't find it. So I'll keep searching lol.

I don't know. I will post some pictures.

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Is the old switch a single pole switch? Can you provide a photo of the new dimmer?
Yes I will.


Thanks guys!! Sorry for my bad knowledge on this and trying to understand me!!
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Old 03-25-2013, 10:41 AM   #6
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Problem with my new dimmer's wiring




The new dimmer!



As we can see in the picture, two wires are connected to the bottom and one connected on top. So I guess one of the wire at the bottom should be a switch leg?



Are they the ground wires at the back of the box??


Thanks for all your help!! Hopefully this is not something too complicated to do....

Last edited by Barrymwf; 03-25-2013 at 02:34 PM.
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Old 03-25-2013, 10:42 AM   #7
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Problem with my new dimmer's wiring


no pictures showed up
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Old 03-25-2013, 11:14 AM   #8
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Problem with my new dimmer's wiring


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no pictures showed up
They are up now, thanks!
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Old 03-25-2013, 11:18 AM   #9
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Problem with my new dimmer's wiring


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I have never seen a dimmer switch that had a neutral-----what would a switch need a neutral for?
Seriously?

Most electronic dimmers require a neutral to power the electronics.
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Old 03-25-2013, 11:39 AM   #10
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Problem with my new dimmer's wiring


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They are up now, thanks!
Not on my end. Here is what I see and you cannot click on them.
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Old 03-25-2013, 02:35 PM   #11
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Problem with my new dimmer's wiring


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Not on my end. Here is what I see and you cannot click on them.
Hopefully this time works
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Old 03-25-2013, 03:01 PM   #12
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Problem with my new dimmer's wiring


Connect the green wire to a jumper and screw it under one of the screws in the box.
Connect the white wire to the bundle of whites.
Connect the two black wires to the black wire of the dimmer, and the single black wire to the red wire of the dimmer.

You really need to correct the grounding in this box.
All the bare wires and the green wire need to be connected together.
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Old 03-25-2013, 03:11 PM   #13
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Problem with my new dimmer's wiring


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Connect the green wire to a jumper and screw it under one of the screws in the box.
Connect the white wire to the bundle of whites.
Connect the two black wires to the black wire of the dimmer, and the single black wire to the red wire of the dimmer.

You really need to correct the grounding in this box.
All the bare wires and the green wire need to be connected together.
I don't see any green wires in the box, what should I do??
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Old 03-25-2013, 03:13 PM   #14
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Problem with my new dimmer's wiring


Most dimmers have a green wire, yours just has a bare wire.
Treat the bare wire as the green wire.
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Old 03-25-2013, 04:45 PM   #15
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Problem with my new dimmer's wiring


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Most dimmers have a green wire, yours just has a bare wire.
Treat the bare wire as the green wire.
U said I should correct the grounding in the box, how do I do it now as the two ground wires at the end of the box are way too short?? Please suggest!!

Thank you so much!

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