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ToddD 05-06-2012 02:44 PM

Replace bathroom light switch with dimmer switch
 
2 Attachment(s)
I currently have a bathroom with two switches, one for a fan and one for a light. I am trying to replace the switch for the light with a dimmer switch.

I am unsure how to replace the switch for the light with the dimmer switch I purchased.

From what I can tell there is a ground to each switch. All the white wires are wire nutted together. The light switch has a black wire running up which I am assuming goes to the light. The fan switch also has a black wire running up which I am assuming runs to the fan. The light switch has a black wire attached to the screw at the bottom of the switch. Then there is another wire, also connected to the bottom screw of the light switch, which connects to the bottom of the fan switch.

The dimmer I purchased has a black, green, red, and then a red labeled for use in 3 way installations.

Pics attached. Click thumbnails to enlarge.

Thanks for any help you can give me.
-Todd


http://img16.imageshack.us/img16/8043/switches.th.jpg

http://img534.imageshack.us/img534/6...wdimmer.th.jpg

TarheelTerp 05-06-2012 02:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ToddD (Post 915807)
The dimmer I purchased has a black, green, red, and then a red labeled for use in 3 way installations.

return it.
then buy a plain vanilla dimmer switch

ToddD 05-06-2012 02:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TarheelTerp (Post 915809)
return it.
then buy a plain vanilla dimmer switch

I thought it was pretty vanilla, it was just a Leviton switch I bought at Home Depot. What would make it "more vanilla". Sorry for my ignorance on the matter.

EDIT: Is it because it has a push button to activate the light and a lever to adjust how much it dims?

ToddD 05-06-2012 03:10 PM

So after looking at this a bit more. Why is it wired this way. Couldn't each switch just be wired independently?

If you look at my picture of the switches, in the middle are 3 black wires wire nutted together. Two come from lines inside the box. The third just goes from the wire nut to the light switch. Then the light switch has its own wire that goes from the light switch to the fan switch.

Could these black wires just not be wire nutted together and the black from the wire nut for the light go to the light switch and the black from the wire nut for the fan go to the fan switch?

k_buz 05-06-2012 03:12 PM

Don't return it.

The black from the dimmer goes to the wirenut you can barely see at the top of the picture. The red from the dimmer (that doesn't say for 3-Way) goes to the top wire on the left switch.

The wires that go to the bottom of the left switch should be spliced together and a wirenut installed on them.

Cap the unused red wire.

Green from the dimmer goes to the bare wires in the box.

ToddD 05-06-2012 03:16 PM

The left switch is the one I am replacing with the dimmer, I would be keeping the right switch for the fan.

k_buz 05-06-2012 03:17 PM

yeah....

ToddD 05-06-2012 03:20 PM

Sorry I totally misread that :P

ToddD 05-06-2012 03:22 PM

"The wires that go to the bottom of the left switch should be spliced together and a wirenut installed on them."

Instead of splicing them together could I just wirenut the wire from the bottom of the right switch into the wire nut at the top and remove the extra wire going from the wire nut to the bottom of the left switch?

k_buz 05-06-2012 03:23 PM

yes...make sure you have power off to that box

ToddD 05-06-2012 03:31 PM

Thanks, I do :). Appreciate the help.

ToddD 05-06-2012 05:58 PM

Just as a follow up, I just did all 3 of my bathroom switches and all three work perfectly.

After I got them apart I noticed that what I thought was two wires, black from the wire nut to the bottom of the switch, and then another from the bottom of one switch to the bottom of the other switch, was really one wire with a piece stripped out, wrapped around the screw, them connected to the other switch.


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