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Pfern 06-01-2012 09:10 PM

Trouble Installing Dimmer Switch
I bought a dimmer switch and am trying to install it. I have done it a few times in the house before, so I thought no problem. But this time is different. It is for a bedroom, and it has two switches side by side in the same box. One switch controls the light (where I am trying to install the dimmer and the other switch controls an outlet. So far, so good. However, when I pulled the switch out I noticed two things:
1. There is no ground wire. Is this OK?
2. More importantly, the one black wire running into the old switch didn't run into it like I thought it should (ie - plugged into the back). Instead, it was secured by a screw in the side. It was a single black wire with just a little piece stripped off so it could secure to the side screw. The end of this wire went to the other switch.

My questions are:
1. What is the proper way to wire this? The instructions say to attach one black to black, second black to black, red to red, and ground to ground. There is no ground, which doesn't appear to be a problem from my searching.

I have tried:
1. Cutting black wire where it was joined at screw to now have two black wires. Attach one side of the black wire that I cut to the other black coming from dimmer. Other side of the black that I cut to other black coming from dimmer. And red to red. I left green going nowhere. It didnt work at all - light doesnt even turn on.
2. I tried joining the wires that I cut together then pairing those two to one of the black wires coming from the back of the dimmer. The other black wire coming from the dimmer I hooked up to the red from the wall. The green again I left going nowhere. The light comes on, but it doesn't dim and it buzzes very loudly. If I try to dim the light, it will not dim, but turn on or off. If it is on, but not at full capacity it buzzes.
3. I tried same as above, but flipped the wires (ie - two blacks joined together tied to other black wire coming from dimmer. Red wire attached to other black wire coming from dimmer.) Green still going nowhere. This still has the same result as #2 above.

So - how do I wire this puppy up? And how do I get rid of the buzzing? Thanks all!

kbsparky 06-01-2012 09:16 PM

What kind of light bulb(s) are in the light?

You may not be able to properly dim certain CFLs or LEDs with a cheap dimmer.

Also, you may have damaged the dimmer during installation.

Single pole switches and dimmers generally are not polarity sensitive, so reversing the connections may have no effect.

Pfern 06-01-2012 09:24 PM

Type of bulbs
They are CFL light bulbs. I had read online that the some bulbs may not be able to dim, so I installed the CFL's into a light that is able to dim and they dimmed there. So I don't think it's the light.

Also - should the dimmer make a loud buzzing sound when it is not fully open or fully closed?

Thanks for your response.

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