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Old 03-30-2010, 08:44 PM   #1
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dimmer switch


recently installed 6 recessed lighting cans, 85 watts on an existing BX cable line, i attached new 14 gauge wire throughout the cans and met it with the 'live' BX at the dimmer switch...turn on power...hear a pop...maybe i wired wrong...bought new dimmer...heard another pop when breaker was on...turned off then on again...everything lights up...but dimmer does not dim...any suggestions...i read that 'old school' BX uses it sheathing as a ground...so i just combined the ground of the 14 gauge to the dimmer's ground...
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Old 03-30-2010, 09:01 PM   #2
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85 watts for 6 cans? What type of lamps are in the cans?
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Old 03-30-2010, 09:04 PM   #3
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my mistake 6 x 85 watts...510 total
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Old 03-30-2010, 10:24 PM   #4
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Might be the dimmer is rated at lower wattage than the load you put on it.Most dimmer switches are rated at 300 to 500 watts.Try another that is rated for 1000 watts

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Old 04-08-2010, 11:34 AM   #5
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dimmer update


i bought a 1,000 watt dimmer...tried to turn it on and same thing...think too much ampage was on the line...so, i wired a new dedicated 15 amp to an available bus...14 gauge wire...when i tried to turn on the new breaker, solely dedicated to the 6 recessed 85 watt cans, a spark occurred near the new breaker...checked all connections...any thoughts...thanks rick
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Old 04-08-2010, 11:45 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rgentil32 View Post
recently installed 6 recessed lighting cans, 85 watts on an existing BX cable line, i attached new 14 gauge wire throughout the cans and met it with the 'live' BX at the dimmer switch...turn on power...hear a pop...maybe i wired wrong...bought new dimmer...heard another pop when breaker was on...turned off then on again...everything lights up...but dimmer does not dim...any suggestions...i read that 'old school' BX uses it sheathing as a ground...so i just combined the ground of the 14 gauge to the dimmer's ground...
get yourself a ground strap for the bx and hook it up with a ground. Double check all your light connections for a pinched wire as without the ground connected there's no way for the breaker to trip if you have a short to ground...or get a ground strap and then see if the breaker flips.
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Old 04-08-2010, 12:28 PM   #7
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Never install a dimmer until you verify that the circuit is correct. As you should have learned it's an expensive lesson.
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Old 04-08-2010, 12:31 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rgentil32 View Post
recently installed 6 recessed lighting cans, 85 watts on an existing BX cable line, i attached new 14 gauge wire throughout the cans and met it with the 'live' BX at the dimmer switch...turn on power...hear a pop...maybe i wired wrong...bought new dimmer...heard another pop when breaker was on...turned off then on again...everything lights up...but dimmer does not dim...any suggestions...i read that 'old school' BX uses it sheathing as a ground...so i just combined the ground of the 14 gauge to the dimmer's ground...
Is your terminology correct? Are you saying you connected the dimmer grounding wire to one of the conductors coming out of the BX? BX does not have a grounding conductor inside the sheath.
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Old 04-08-2010, 02:40 PM   #9
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I get the impression you made a mistake in the wiring or there is a pinched wire somewhere causing a short circuit that burned out the dimmer.

Do the lights work correctly if you substituted a regular switch for the dimmer switch?
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Old 04-08-2010, 02:45 PM   #10
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I get the impression you made a mistake in the wiring or there is a pinched wire somewhere causing a short circuit that burned out the dimmer.

Do the lights work correctly if you substituted a regular switch for the dimmer switch?

It is not unusual to incorrectly connect the switch between hot and neutral. Instant short circuit.
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Old 04-08-2010, 04:00 PM   #11
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Is your terminology correct? Are you saying you connected the dimmer grounding wire to one of the conductors coming out of the BX? BX does not have a grounding conductor inside the sheath.
what he's saying is there's no ground on the bx so what he did is just connect his new 14/2 to the dimmer ground.
Correct me if i'm wrong but isn't there a grounding strap that must be used when your using the sheath as a ground?
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Old 04-08-2010, 05:04 PM   #12
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A ground screw or a ground clip on the metallic box.
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