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agodbout87 08-06-2012 12:50 PM

Strange Wiring Problem in my dining room.
Hey guys and gals,

got a very odd dilemma, in my dining room there is a chandelier lamp that is controlled through a dimmer switch(even though it is not a dimmer). There is also a closet with a light switch as well.

The odd circumstance i am having is when the closet light is on(via its own switch), and you turn on the dinning room light, the closet light goes out. Then if you turn the dining room light off,the closet light turns back on.

The closest light switch has zero effect on the dining room light, the dining room light seems to have control over the closet light and dining room light.

Any ideas on a fix. I was thing just replacing the dimmer(once again does not actually dim) with a single pole interrupter. I just dont want to burn my house down:(

frenchelectrican 08-06-2012 12:55 PM

Ok let start here how many conductors you did actually see in the switch box ??

I am thinking either it was crossed connection or got a luminaire that hooked up on switch loop so that one of the two.

SVP can you take a photo of it I think you may have the power and luminaires switched around.


agodbout87 08-06-2012 12:57 PM

I will take a picture when i get home, unfortunately i am working untill 5pm est. but i will make it a priority. Its just very annoying!

gregzoll 08-06-2012 12:59 PM

Miswired Switch leg, or 3-way or 4-way switch used, instead of single pole.

agodbout87 08-06-2012 01:05 PM

gregzoll, so should i just install a single pole?

frenchelectrican 08-06-2012 01:17 PM


Originally Posted by agodbout87 (Post 982732)
gregzoll, so should i just install a single pole?

Before you install the single pole switch do you recall how many wire it came from the old dimmer if just two black conductors with a green conductor that is single pole however if you have two black and one red conductor ( typical ) then you have three way dimmer.

So do you have second switch in the dinning room if so that is a three way switch.


agodbout87 08-06-2012 01:31 PM

yes there is a second switch in the dining room, so i know it is a 3 way. I will have to poen it back up when i get home. there is no way i can remember. I will post pics when i get there

frenchelectrican 08-06-2012 01:34 PM


Originally Posted by agodbout87 (Post 982758)
yes there is a second switch in the dining room, so i know it is a 3 way. I will have to poen it back up when i get home. there is no way i can remember. I will post pics when i get there

That will be fine once you post the photo one of us in the fourm will assit you more on the details there are couple members are electrician so they will know excat answer what ya looking for.

I am in Paris France so I am in differnt time zone so I will able reply much later on the time ( I am useally about 6 hours ahead on timezone wise )


MisterZ 08-06-2012 09:18 PM

it sounds like someone wired the closet light off one of the 3-ways.
if you could trace the closet wiring back to it's source of power, it's possible you could make the corrections there.

Naturally it's easier to assess a situation thats in front of you, rather than remotely.
Photo's of the wiring from both 3-way switches and the closet switch would be helpful.

dmxtothemax 08-06-2012 11:50 PM

Some one has tapped into the closet light circuit incorrectily!
We need to know how the closet light is wired ?
How many switchs are involved,
and pictures of the wiring behind the switchs would help a great deal !

agodbout87 08-07-2012 08:18 AM

Pictures of the Problem
3 Attachment(s)
Here are some of the pictures:

hammerlane 08-07-2012 08:32 AM

1 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by agodbout87 (Post 983319)

Sorry for the links, files too big

You can still insert the pictures into the thread. Edit the size and then add descriptors. Makes troubleshooting easier than having to go back and forth between links etc.

frenchelectrican 08-08-2012 01:52 AM

Will you do me a favour ?? take the extra switch off from the closet side but do not disconnect as well just take a photo I think I might see a crossed connection there.


agodbout87 08-08-2012 07:01 AM

4 Attachment(s)
Here are some more pictues. The dimmer you see now is the second switch next to the closet switch. It controls the pot lights in the kitchen and has no issues.

I should make note that the closet light is on the other side of the wall as the dining room dimmer.

I have included an outline. sorry not too good at this

frenchelectrican 08-09-2012 12:15 AM

C'est safe for me to say this word which I don't say it very often but you do have issue with connections there is a crossed connection and also one of the connection is hooked up in series with one of the luminaire which that is a major no-no.

How long ago this was wired up due I can tell it look pretty recently.

Do you have any way to get above the ceiling like attic above that room ? or that is between the floor / ceiling level ?

I am not surpise with this due you may have a hidden splice in there somewhere. unless you find the junciton box in attic which I know few peoples are not aware with switch loop set up.

The dimmer in dinning room if that is the only cable then it is three way switch loop and the switch in the dinning room you have power source however I don't see any other conductors beside 14-3 next to it and can you check the luminaire I think there is couple spots you will find funky splices.


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