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Old 01-21-2013, 02:55 PM   #1
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What am I doing wrong here?


I'm attempting to wire install a couple new recessed lights in our master bedroom and I must have something messed up.

- I have power coming into my dimmer switch.
- Black wire to black screw, ground wire to green screw, two white wires twisted together independent from the switch. Black wire on wire feeding the light to the bronze colored screw. (All right like the directions say as far as I can tell)


I flip the switch and get no light however I get power all the way to the bulb. I have tried several different bulbs with no luck.
Am I overlooking something here?

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Old 01-21-2013, 03:23 PM   #2
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What am I doing wrong here?


When you say you "get power all the way to the bulb", what are you measuring? Your wiring sounds correct, but there's obviously something wrong. So start measuring voltages and figure out where the problem is. It sounds like it may be an open neutral.

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Old 01-21-2013, 03:36 PM   #3
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What am I doing wrong here?


I know some recessed lights aren't made for use with dimmers. Not sure if the light would totally not work though.
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Old 01-21-2013, 03:36 PM   #4
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What am I doing wrong here?


What kind of bulb do you have connected to this dimmer switch?
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Old 01-21-2013, 04:13 PM   #5
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What am I doing wrong here?


Was this switch existing? Did you add a switch to the box? Do you have a neutral?
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Old 01-21-2013, 05:50 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by mpoulton View Post
When you say you "get power all the way to the bulb", what are you measuring? Your wiring sounds correct, but there's obviously something wrong. So start measuring voltages and figure out where the problem is. It sounds like it may be an open neutral.
i do not have a multimeter so i am only going off of a voltage detector.

i have the same lights in our living room and they are dimmable

the bulb is a gu10 50 watt

there was a switch there before, but a ran all new lines for this so essentially it is a new location. i do have a neutral
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Old 01-21-2013, 05:52 PM   #7
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What am I doing wrong here?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Peaches0509 View Post
I'm attempting to wire install a couple new recessed lights in our master bedroom and I must have something messed up.

- I have power coming into my dimmer switch.
- Black wire to black screw, ground wire to green screw, two white wires twisted together independent from the switch. Black wire on wire feeding the light to the bronze colored screw. (All right like the directions say as far as I can tell)


I flip the switch and get no light however I get power all the way to the bulb. I have tried several different bulbs with no luck.
Am I overlooking something here?
I do give you credit but you have tried to adjust the brightness of the light ? Yes? Are you sure they are the same bulbs LED vs Halogen which are not dimmable.

Last edited by Stubbie; 01-21-2013 at 06:03 PM.
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Old 01-21-2013, 06:18 PM   #8
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What am I doing wrong here?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Peaches0509 View Post
i do not have a multimeter so i am only going off of a voltage detector.

i have the same lights in our living room and they are dimmable

the bulb is a gu10 50 watt

there was a switch there before, but a ran all new lines for this so essentially it is a new location. i do have a neutral
So-called "voltage detectors" are not very accurate when it comes to troubleshooting.

A bad neutral would make the lights inoperative, but the beep tester would still register positive for juice.

Betcha you have a broken wire in that neutral somewhere ....
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Old 01-21-2013, 06:26 PM   #9
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What am I doing wrong here?


A.) Are the recessed light cans low-voltage?

B.) If your getting power all the way to the light, is it possible that you forgot to wire up the neutrals in the light can?

C.) Go back and check all your connections, black wires and white wires to make sure they are secure.
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kbsparky View Post
So-called "voltage detectors" are not very accurate when it comes to troubleshooting.

A bad neutral would make the lights inoperative, but the beep tester would still register positive for juice.

Betcha you have a broken wire in that neutral somewhere ....
Yep X2
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:54 PM   #11
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What am I doing wrong here?


Use the voltage tester to check the neutral from the light at the switch box. If it reads hot when the switch is on, then there's a bad neutral connection either in that box or somewhere upstream. If the neutral never reads hot, then the problem is closer to the fixture.
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:01 PM   #12
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What am I doing wrong here?


not sure if it was covered yet, did see mention of non dimmable lights.
Is also possible you have the wrong dimmer switch.

I ran into this recently, I have a light that is dimmable, is some sort of low voltage and bulb looks like a long glass fuse. And have used it in another location with the dimmer switch that was purchased with it.

Now that light will be installed above my desk, but not finished with tape and texture yet, I installed the dimmer switch , then tossed a cheap porcelain temp light with standard bulb.

This would not work, I had to find a standard dimmer switch for it, I looked at the switch, I could see nothing that said it was different, it looks the same ... but will only work for the low voltage lights. ..... Am probably describing it wrong, I have two of those switches, one is still new and in package, I bet the package will say what the switch is made for. But looking at the switch I see no difference.
I bet it would be really easy to walk into a hardware, store pick up the wrong switch without knowing, and have this problem.
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:47 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpoulton View Post
Use the voltage tester to check the neutral from the light at the switch box. If it reads hot when the switch is on, then there's a bad neutral connection either in that box or somewhere upstream. If the neutral never reads hot, then the problem is closer to the fixture.
I checked this out and my neutral is reading hot when I turn on the switch so that will be where I start tomorrow when I get home. There's only one connection upstream so it shouldn't be to hard to check out. I'll post what I find out. Thanks for all your responses so far guys.
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Old 01-22-2013, 12:36 AM   #14
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I checked this out and my neutral is reading hot when I turn on the switch so that will be where I start tomorrow when I get home. There's only one connection upstream so it shouldn't be to hard to check out. I'll post what I find out. Thanks for all your responses so far guys.
Yeah, you definitely have an open neutral upstream from there, then. Could be as far back as the neutral connection in the panel.
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Old 01-22-2013, 02:33 AM   #15
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What am I doing wrong here?


Black screw and bronze screw,is this a 3way dimmer?

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