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Old 05-06-2012, 02:44 PM   #1
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Replace bathroom light switch with dimmer switch


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




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Replace bathroom light switch with dimmer switch-wp_001010.jpg   Replace bathroom light switch with dimmer switch-wp_001011.jpg  


Last edited by ToddD; 05-06-2012 at 02:45 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 05-06-2012, 02:49 PM   #2
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Replace bathroom light switch with dimmer switch


Quote:
Originally Posted by ToddD View Post
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

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Old 05-06-2012, 02:57 PM   #3
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Replace bathroom light switch with dimmer switch


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Originally Posted by TarheelTerp View Post
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?
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Old 05-06-2012, 03:10 PM   #4
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Replace bathroom light switch with dimmer switch


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?
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Old 05-06-2012, 03:12 PM   #5
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Replace bathroom light switch with dimmer switch


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.
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Old 05-06-2012, 03:16 PM   #6
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Replace bathroom light switch with dimmer switch


The left switch is the one I am replacing with the dimmer, I would be keeping the right switch for the fan.
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Old 05-06-2012, 03:17 PM   #7
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Replace bathroom light switch with dimmer switch


yeah....
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Old 05-06-2012, 03:20 PM   #8
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Sorry I totally misread that :P
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Old 05-06-2012, 03:22 PM   #9
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Replace bathroom light switch with dimmer switch


"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?
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Old 05-06-2012, 03:23 PM   #10
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yes...make sure you have power off to that box
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Old 05-06-2012, 03:31 PM   #11
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Replace bathroom light switch with dimmer switch


Thanks, I do . Appreciate the help.
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Old 05-06-2012, 05:58 PM   #12
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Replace bathroom light switch with dimmer switch


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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