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Old 08-13-2013, 01:50 AM   #1
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Is the wiring for this dimmer switch safe/correct?


I replaced a Lutron dimmer switch my kitchen, and in doing so I somehow cut off the power to a hallway light switch. The old dimmer had connections for all 3 wires coming from the wall, but the new dimmer only had connections for two wires (as well as a "blue screw" connection that's not supposed to be used with a single light connection).

The attached photo shows the dimmer connected to the wall wires (it operates normally) and the third unused wire. I've found that power returns to the hallway light when the third wire (the black wire that's unconnected in the photo) is connected to the lower screw on the dimmer, where another black wire is already connected.

My question is, is it safe/correct to connect both black wires to the lower screw on the dimmer?

Both the kitchen dimmer and hallway light operate normally with this configuration, but I want to be sure it's safe.

Thank you for your help.
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Is the wiring for this dimmer switch safe/correct?-image.jpg  


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Old 08-13-2013, 06:33 AM   #2
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If your intention is to connect the two black wires together, and both to the switch, I would be more inclined to use a wire nut, adding a third, short wire. Connect all three together with the wire nut, and the short wire to the switch.


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Old 08-13-2013, 07:47 AM   #3
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You can not connect both wires under one screw. You need to use a pigtail. Connect the two wire and third short 6 inch black wire. Connect the other end of the pigtail black wire to the switch.
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Old 08-13-2013, 08:21 PM   #4
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Well Dodeskaden I hate to be Mr. Nitpicker (lol), especially since Iím a newbie with little knowledge, but I think those wires are wrapped around the screw in the wrong direction. I believe they are supposed to be wrapped clockwise around the screws so tightening the screw tends to close the wire loop around the screw rather than opening it.

If thatís wrong you can bet the gurus will give me an earful! lol
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Old 08-13-2013, 08:43 PM   #5
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The wires should be looped clockwise.
Answers based on the National Electrical Code. Local amendments may apply. Check with your local building officials.
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Old 08-14-2013, 06:17 AM   #6
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It's not a code violation to have the wires wrapped in a specific direction around a screw, but most people agree its a better technique to have the wires in a clockwise direction.
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Old 08-14-2013, 04:45 PM   #7
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looks as though you have a single pole switch (used when only one switch operates a light fixture) and 3 pole wiring (a three pole switch is used when there are more than one light switches controlling a light or set of lights) if your light is controlled from multiple locations, you should get a 3 pole dimmer (you will need two and they are electronic)


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