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Old 01-27-2012, 05:18 PM   #1
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wiring a digital dimmer switch


I am replacing a standard dimer switch with a new digital dimmer switch. The old dimmer had 2 black wires and a green ground wire. the new switch has a black, a white, a blue and a green ground wire.
the junction box is set up with a set of wiring(black, white and ground) on the bottom and two sets coming from the top. The diagram for the new dimmer shows that the black wire is the hot, blue is the load, white is the neutral and green s ground. the wiring diagram for a single location control(which I have) as well as the wiring info for the dimmer has the bottom black wire of the junction box being the load and the top black wire in the junction being the hot. Both whites are nutral and connect together before going to white on the dimmer. this problem I am having is that I cannot find out what I do with the second black wire coming from the top of the junction box. I have joined the white with the others, but I do not know if the second top black wire coming from the junction box should connect with the black hot(top back from the junction box) into the dimmer or to the blue load(with the bottom black wire from the junction box).? I have tried it both ways already. with 2 top blacks going tohot on the dimmer, I cannot turn the porwer off or control the dimmer. With the odd side top black connected to the load, no power to the dimmer at all. what am I missing??

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Old 01-27-2012, 05:33 PM   #2
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wiring a digital dimmer switch


It's like Harley stuff.
Put "digital" on the label (or the orange emblem) and people will buy anything.

So Albert, what was wrong with your old dimmer switch?

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Old 01-27-2012, 05:54 PM   #3
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wiring a digital dimmer switch


Connect it like this

green to ground
white to neutral
black always hot wire in the box to the black
blue to the black wire going to the light

Possible with a digital dimmer you hooked it up wrong to begin with and it burn out.

Last edited by rrolleston; 01-27-2012 at 06:00 PM.
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Old 01-27-2012, 06:24 PM   #4
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wiring a digital dimmer switch


They have digital Harleys now? Anyway, Albert, here's what your blacks probably are:

1. The line from the panel. This is where the power comes in.
2. The load connection to the light that the dimmer will control.
3. A daisy-chain to another light or receptacle on the same circuit.

The trick is to figure out which is which. First, you need to figure out which is the hot. I recommend getting a non-contact voltage tester. TURN THE POWER OFF TO THE CIRCUIT FIRST!

Remove the dimmer and pull the blacks out of the box. Cap all three of them off by screwing wire nuts onto the ends, and separate them. Now go turn the circuit back on. (Be sure that no one else in the house is going to mess with the wires before you do this.) Come back and test all three of the black wires with your non-contact tester. The one that has voltage is the line. GO TURN THE POWER TO THE CIRCUIT BACK OFF.

Now you know which black the line is. Tag that one by putting a piece of tape or something on it. At this point, for a newbie I recommend getting a standard light switch to temporarily install in the circuit in place of the dimmer. Connect the line black (the one you tagged) to one terminal of the switch (use the screws, not the back-stab holes), and choose one of the other two blacks at random and connect it to the other terminal. Leave the unused black capped with the wire nut. Push everything into the box, screw the switch in place, and go turn the circuit power back on.

Now try the switch. Does the light come on? If so, the second black you connected to the switch (the one that isn't the black that you already tagged) is the load black. If not, the unused and still-capped black is the load, and the other black you have connected to the switch is the daisy chain. GO TURN THE POWER TO THE CIRCUIT BACK OFF. Pull everything out of the box. Tag the black that you now know is the load, in a way that you can distinguish it from the line black. Disconnect the wires from the switch.

Now you've got all three wires identified and you're ready to connect the dimmer. Connect the dimmer's blue wire to the black that you have tagged as the load black. Connect the other blacks all together -- the line black, the daisy-chain black, and the black from the dimmer. Connect the dimmer's white to the whites in the box, and connect the dimmer's green to the bare ground wires in the box. Stuff it all back in, turn the power to the circuit back on, and see if it works.
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Old 01-27-2012, 06:24 PM   #5
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wiring a digital dimmer switch


So if read your post, you actually have 3 sets of wires? It sounds like you have more than 1 item being fed from the junction box. All whites are connected. All greens are connected. What you need to do if figure out where all the wires go. 1 set should go to the source, ie the panel. This is your feed, and should be connected to the black wire of your new dimmer. 1 set should be the light you are dimming, and it should be connected to the blue wire. Where does the other set go? Another light? An outlet? The answer will determine where to connect it. If it's a light to be dimmed, connect to blue. If it's anything else, probably black on the dimmer, essentially bypassing the dimmer and passing always on current to the device.
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Old 01-27-2012, 06:26 PM   #6
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wiring a digital dimmer switch


Quote:
Originally Posted by Zanfirico
So if read your post, you actually have 3 sets of wires? It sounds like you have more than 1 item being fed from the junction box. All whites are connected. All greens are connected. What you need to do if figure out where all the wires go. 1 set should go to the source, ie the panel. This is your feed, and should be connected to the black wire of your new dimmer. 1 set should be the light you are dimming, and it should be connected to the blue wire. Where does the other set go? Another light? An outlet? The answer will determine where to connect it. If it's a light to be dimmed, connect to blue. If it's anything else, probably black on the dimmer, essentially bypassing the dimmer and passing always on current to the device.
Oops, someone beat me to it while I was hunting and pecking. Be careful and draw a diagram.
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Old 01-27-2012, 06:28 PM   #7
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wiring a digital dimmer switch


Oops some beat me to while I was hunting and pecking. Be careful and draw a diagram
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Old 01-27-2012, 06:30 PM   #8
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wiring a digital dimmer switch


Yeah three wires one is most likely the power source one goes to the light and one most likely goes to another part of the room.
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Old 01-27-2012, 06:33 PM   #9
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wiring a digital dimmer switch


If you don't have one you should get yourself a meter and some good safe electrical tools

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