DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum (
-   Electrical (
-   -   wall switch gets hot (

couchguy 08-12-2008 09:03 AM

wall switch gets hot
Just bought a house (not new). The preveouse owner has can lighting in the kitchen with 65 watt 120v flood light bulbs. There are 8 lights running of this switch, the switch is also a dimmer switch. The plate gets warm and sometimes the screw actually feel hot after being on for a period of time. Do I have to have this rewired or are there heavy duty switches?

Thanks in advance for your help


daxinarian 08-12-2008 10:03 AM

You may be pushing the capacity of the dimmer, especially if there are more than one switch in the box. You have ~520 watts of lights. Pop the cover off the switch and look on the switch, it should say its rated wattage. If I am remebering right, the one I installed says that it is rated for 600 watts if its the only switch in the box, 500 watts if it is next to another switch, and 400 watts if it is between two other switches.
They sell dimmers that are rated for more watts, I think the next standard is 1000 watts, you may want to get one of those.

jbfan 08-12-2008 10:58 AM

It is normal for a dimmer to feel warm when used to dim the lights.

daxinarian 08-12-2008 11:13 AM

jbfan, how warm is warm? If you can't touch it for longer than a second without it hurting is that "warm" or "too hot"? How hot/warm is yours getting Couchguy?

BigJimmy 08-12-2008 12:40 PM

Jbuffet is absolutely correct on this one: dimmers will get hot when they are set at anything but 100% full output. While a 600W dimmer is perfectly acceptable for loads up to and including 600W, as another poster mentioned, their rating must be de-rated when installed in a ganged arrangement. Also, with can lighting, the total load for a multiple-fixture arrangement must be computed based on the maximum lamp size that each can accommodate. This is not to say that you are not correct in basing your particular load on the actual bulbs installed (i.e. 65W) however.

couchguy 08-14-2008 12:43 PM

Thank you for all of your feed back. I would have to say based on what you described as hot I would say it is only warm. I have no prblem touching the switch for a long time. But to be safe it sounds as though I should make sure that either I make sure the switch is rated for 600 or put one in rated for 600 am I reading this correctly.

jbfan 08-14-2008 02:01 PM

I don't think you can find a dimmer rated for less than 600 watts.

frenchelectrican 08-14-2008 11:42 PM

The most common dimmer size is 600 watts or larger.

It used have 300 watt rating few years back but not anymore due they get smoked up fast from overloading.

Yeah they do get very warm during operation espcally near full load on the dimmer.


petey_c 08-15-2008 06:40 AM

couchguy, Yes you are correct. Verify that the dimmer is rated 600W or better. If not, replace with a 600 or 1000w.

Pas de problème,il marche n'est-ce pas?"(No problem, it works doesn't it?)

(borrowed from another electrician (Marc) at another web site.....)

sweaty 08-15-2008 11:13 AM

You could get dimmable CFL's, save electricity, and keep the same switch.

frenchelectrican 08-16-2008 12:45 AM


Originally Posted by petey_c (Post 148869)
Pas de problème,il marche n'est-ce pas?"(No problem, it works doesn't it?)

(borrowed from another electrician (Marc) at another web site.....)

Petey_C .,, That is my Quoteation from other website.

Et C'est Moi { And it is me }


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:19 AM.

vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1