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Old 11-20-2009, 02:27 PM   #1
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Help adding a dimmer to my lighting system


So here is my setup : I have an outside light that can be controlled by 3 switches inside my home.

I believe that the two outer switches are just 3 way switches and the middle one is a 4 way?


I looked at the middle switch (the 4 way) and it has like 6 wires coming out of the switch.


I replaced one of the outer switches with my new dimmer switch and it works only when I have the middle switch (the 4 way postioned "ON")

NOW FOR THE problem the "4 way switch does not turn the light on and off anymore it kinda just turns on the dimmer switch to work!

PLEASE help. thanks so much in advanced.
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Old 11-20-2009, 03:09 PM   #2
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Is the dimmer a 3-way dimmer switch ?




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Old 11-20-2009, 04:00 PM   #3
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Yes. this is two different issues though one is a outside light controlled by 3 switches and one indoor light setup controlled by 2 different other switches.
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Old 11-20-2009, 05:25 PM   #4
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Quote:
I believe that the two outer switches are just 3 way switches and the middle one is a 4 way?
That's a question for you to answer. The 3 ways will have three wires hooked to them.

Quote:
I looked at the middle switch (the 4 way) and it has like 6 wires coming out of the switch.
By "like 6 wires" do you mean 4 wires?


Quote:
I replaced one of the outer switches with my new dimmer switch and it works only when I have the middle switch (the 4 way postioned "ON")
If the switch you replaced was a 3way, with 3 wires and your new dimmer was a mechanical 3 way dimmer, you simply hooked the "common" to the wrong terminal/wire


Quote:
this is two different issues though one is a outside light controlled by 3 switches and one indoor light setup controlled by 2 different other switches.
WTF? Read before you post to see if it will make sense to someone else.
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Old 11-20-2009, 05:27 PM   #5
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I received an email that says it was merged with another thread!
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Old 11-20-2009, 05:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 220/221 View Post
WTF? Read before you post to see if it will make sense to someone else.
Sorry - I caused the confusion
He was replying to me - I thought he replied to his other thread & started a new thread by mistake
So I merged the 2 threads....but turns out its 2 different issues
So they were un-merged



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Old 11-20-2009, 06:12 PM   #7
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Thanks for the protection ANy idea how to fix this? Its driving me nuts.
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Old 11-20-2009, 06:58 PM   #8
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Any ideas here?
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Old 11-20-2009, 11:24 PM   #9
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here is what i wired on the dimmer






These are what i have on the 4 way switch





The dimmer works! it only works when the 4 way is in the on position! If i turn the 4 way off the dimmer/light are off and can not turn on with the dimmer.
Once they are off if i flip the switch back on, on the 4 way the light does not go on it only give the dimmer its power to turn the light on and off.

Thanks so much
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Old 11-21-2009, 09:26 AM   #10
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You have been told in both thread that you have a wire transposed on your switch. At this point you just need to try trial and error. There are only 3 combinations to try. Do not make any changes to the other switches.
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Old 11-21-2009, 09:38 AM   #11
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Im sorry Jim I am obviously not a professional! on the dimmer switch i tried every combo and still the same luck.
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Old 11-21-2009, 11:17 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hotskate View Post
So here is my setup : I have an outside light that can be controlled by 3 switches inside my home.

I believe that the two outer switches are just 3 way switches and the middle one is a 4 way?


I looked at the middle switch (the 4 way) and it has like 6 wires coming out of the switch.


I replaced one of the outer switches with my new dimmer switch and it works only when I have the middle switch (the 4 way postioned "ON")

NOW FOR THE problem the "4 way switch does not turn the light on and off anymore it kinda just turns on the dimmer switch to work!

PLEASE help. thanks so much in advanced.
Just looked in and saw your two threads with this dimmer for networking with a computer.

You have several issues with this dimmer..... it is not conventional as 220/221 has already brought to mention.

It requires a wiring scheme that is not typically used. First thing is the HA 14 3 way dimmer must be the first switch that power lands ... it then can be wired to the other switches and to the light(s). It should work with your existing wiring where you have your 2 3 ways and 3 lights if power lands on one of the three ways first. If power enters a switch box first then you can install that dimmer of yours there but nowhere else.
You then have some rather unorthodox wiring to the other 3 way.

Also remember that at the bottom of the dimmer under the rocker switch you have an on off slide switch that must be "on".

You also need to know if the power enters the beginning of the three way lighting circuit at a 3 way switch then goes to the next 3 way then goes to the light or power enters the 3 way that also contains the cable that goes to the light(s). In this last case you will have 3 cables coming into the switch box. Might be more but only 3 cables will be used for the lighting circuit.
Either of these wiring schemes will allow your dimmer to work. The wiring is simple but different from normal 3 way dimmers.

As for the lighting circuit that has two three ways with a 4 way. Your pretty much screwed unless you have 4 wires between switches...you don't have this so that dimmer will not work correctly till you get 4 wires between switches.


I'll attach the wiring diagrams so all can see why this has been so confusing to figure out....

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Last edited by Stubbie; 11-21-2009 at 11:35 AM.
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Old 11-21-2009, 12:24 PM   #13
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THANK YOU SO MUCH!! so my out door light deal that has 3 switches that control it will never work correctly?

Is there anyway I can fix it?

Right now it is wired up and working but it is the only switch that will turn the light on and off!

What if i change the switch to theother end of the 3 switches?



As for the kitchen lights that have just the 2 switches controling them i have tried everything and still no luck! I am just hitting my head on my wall
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Old 11-21-2009, 01:01 PM   #14
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I am just hitting my head on my wall
I know how you feel.
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Old 11-21-2009, 01:28 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hotskate View Post
THANK YOU SO MUCH!! so my out door light deal that has 3 switches that control it will never work correctly?

Is there anyway I can fix it?

Right now it is wired up and working but it is the only switch that will turn the light on and off!

What if i change the switch to the other end of the 3 switches?



As for the kitchen lights that have just the 2 switches controling them i have tried everything and still no luck! I am just hitting my head on my wall
Yeah I can see why you feel that way....I'll send 220/221 over on a service call to fix it for you.....

I'm not sure what to say other than you must completely understand the wiring you have..ie.. where power from the panel enters the circuit and how wires that are existing are connected from switch to switch and then to the light. Power must enter a switch box first for you to ever get this to work in your 2 ... 3 ways scheme with 3 lights. It should work in this situation.

As for the other with the 4 way switch...get your wiring figured out... but what I am saying is that the diagram requires an additional wire which you do not have. Without that wire it isn't going to work as advertised. It is shown in the wiring diagram.

Sorry but that is the simple truth. I would venture to guess this HA 14 dimmer was intended for new construction.
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Last edited by Stubbie; 11-21-2009 at 01:32 PM.
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