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Old 11-24-2010, 11:37 AM   #1
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Replacing manufactured home light switch to dimmer. Why 3 circuits?


I just bought a Lutron Maestro dimmer w/ remote to control 2 recessed lights. I took the light switch out to find 3 runs of Romex. The manufactured home light switches aren't even in boxes they have there own special crap. It is like a remodel setup that screws open tabs to hold in place. The connections are also different. The wires are just pressed in and then a cover goes over. Hard to explain. Anyways I am trying to figure out what is what. I assumed that instead of wiring the lights in series that they just wired each light individually to the switch? And no outlets nearby are "switched". So I guess the outlets are getting their "hot" feed off the switch? Sound right?
About wiring the new switch. Instead of having more than 1 wire to a terminal which i'm not sure is even code is it common practice or even allowable to take the wires that need to go to a certain terminal and then use an extra wire to connect to the terminal, like when you have multiple grounds? Hope that makes sense? Thx. Mike.

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Old 11-24-2010, 12:24 PM   #2
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Replacing manufactured home light switch to dimmer. Why 3 circuits?


The way they have it is all the whites together all the blacks together. So it looks like the outlet is getting its feed from the hot side of switch. So it basically just shares the neutral of the switch?

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Old 11-24-2010, 02:28 PM   #3
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Replacing manufactured home light switch to dimmer. Why 3 circuits?


What you have to do is remove this device and install a cut-in device box.

One cable is the power in, one the power out, and one the switch leg to the lights. You need a tester to tell you which is which.

What you describe is pig tailing, and is exactly how you do it.
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Old 11-24-2010, 08:26 PM   #4
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Replacing manufactured home light switch to dimmer. Why 3 circuits?


Already got it done. I already had a deep remodel box in the tool box. Works beautiful. Thx. Mike.
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Old 02-15-2011, 05:14 AM   #5
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Replacing manufactured home light switch to dimmer. Why 3 circuits?


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The way they have it is all the whites together all the blacks together. So it looks like the outlet is getting its feed from the hot side of switch. So it basically just shares the neutral of the switch?
"Shares the neutral of the switch"? Neutral NEVER goes to a switch. And, typically, the receps feed the switch, or they bring power to the light, and the hot to the switch is white, and the switch leg is black. If you have a white wire in a switch box, chances are it's not a neutral. Switch's don't get a neutral, only the load.
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Old 02-15-2011, 06:13 AM   #6
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Replacing manufactured home light switch to dimmer. Why 3 circuits?


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"Shares the neutral of the switch"? Neutral NEVER goes to a switch.
I have a house full of switches requiring a neutral. While this may still be relatively uncommon, it does happen. I expect we will all see more of this in the near future.
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Old 02-15-2011, 04:47 PM   #7
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Replacing manufactured home light switch to dimmer. Why 3 circuits?


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"Shares the neutral of the switch"? Neutral NEVER goes to a switch..... Switch's don't get a neutral, only the load.
This is NOT the case when dealing with manufactured/mobile homes self-contained devices. The neutral conductors have to be connected there, since there is no outlet box, or any other place to put `em. The switch does not interrupt the neutral conductor, but they are connected together within the switch housing. The continuity of the circuit is dependent on this.

I really don't like dealing with those non-box devices, but it's the nature of the beast in mobile homes ....
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Old 02-28-2011, 08:44 AM   #8
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Replacing manufactured home light switch to dimmer. Why 3 circuits?


Digital switches also need the neutral wire in order to stay "alive."
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Old 02-28-2011, 07:06 PM   #9
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Replacing manufactured home light switch to dimmer. Why 3 circuits?


Never said the "white" wire, I said the neutral wire. Go ahead and hook up a hot and a neutral to a switch and turn it on, I dare you.
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Old 02-28-2011, 07:25 PM   #10
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Replacing manufactured home light switch to dimmer. Why 3 circuits?


Not sure what you are talking about. No one said white wire. And try hooking up a digital switch without a neutral attached to it, good luck.
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Old 06-08-2012, 09:24 PM   #11
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Replacing manufactured home light switch to dimmer. Why 3 circuits?


Hey guys... I am an electrical dummie.... i am trying to install a dimmer and when i get into the wall it has 3 sets of wires... 3 white, 3 black and 3 ground... how do i install with step by step instructions??? i tried already and it won't dim.... nor turn light off... lol please help!!!! thanks all!!!
P.S. I live in a 1993 mobile home!
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Old 06-09-2012, 07:37 AM   #12
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Replacing manufactured home light switch to dimmer. Why 3 circuits?


Do you have a volt meter? Was there a switch already in this location? Is it still there? How is/was it hooked up?

If you have already removed the switch, and have nothing more than a bunch of wires, the steps I would take would be (assuming one knows when to turn off power at the circuit breaker to perform these steps safely):

a) separate all the wires
b) identify supply cable by measuring voltage at each black relative to each white. By a process of elimination, identify supply cable as the one with 120V
c) identify where other two cables go by inspecting, probing, measuring, observing, etc....
d) connect wires based upon the results of my investigation
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Old 06-09-2012, 11:50 AM   #13
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Replacing manufactured home light switch to dimmer. Why 3 circuits?


A) I know which wires are for what, one power, one leading, one light
B) Yes there was a light switch there and it was the "self-contained box" that has 3 sets of wires going into it... but it broke once I got into it....
C) I connected the wires in different ways that I am understanding and I still cannot get the dimmer to work...

The best I can make it to do is come on but won't dim..... and now that the old switch is broken (I think) I cannot get the wires all back in there to work correctly.... do I need to go through a manufactured home site in order to replace the old one? Or would they have that at Lowes or Home Depot?
Thanks so much for all your (or anyone's) help!
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Old 06-09-2012, 01:41 PM   #14
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Replacing manufactured home light switch to dimmer. Why 3 circuits?


It does not sound, then, like you are an electrical "dummie".

If all the whites are neutral, and black represent hot (supply, continuation, or fixture), then I would expect the following to work:

- all whites tied together.
- black supply, switch, and black continuation together
- black to fixture on second switch lug

Of course, all grounds should be tied together.

In your replacement switch, is there only two connections (one for supply, one for fixture)? Is it possible that it matters which connection is which? Is it possible you have a faulty new switch?
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Old 06-09-2012, 02:10 PM   #15
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Replacing manufactured home light switch to dimmer. Why 3 circuits?


the new dimmer switch MAY be faulty... it DOES have a 4th wire (second red wire) for a 3 way switch... but it is a single pole so it says to not use it unless.... and what do you mean "second switch plug"?

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