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Old 01-20-2010, 04:36 PM   #1
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Wiring a switch; tips, tricks, things to watch out for?

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Last edited by user71057; 01-25-2010 at 02:08 PM.
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Old 01-20-2010, 05:18 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by jbengal View Post
The live and neutral wires in the junction box were each made of a single, rather thick, copper strand (maybe a sixteenth of an inch in diameter) with old rubber insulation. I'd say the building is 110 yrs old

This sounds like knob and tube, if so i would run away from the job. If someone called me to do a sidejob that involved knob and tube I would say no.

My questions:
1) The dimmer switch my friend already bought cost about $8; will it be able to handle the voltage/amperage running through it?
You should be fine, dimmers are rated in watts, you probably have a 600W dimmer so you should be fine

2) Is there a graceful way to join old single strand copper wire to modern wires (a bundle of smaller wires wrapped in housing). My thought now is to carefully bend the copper wire into a loop and then wrap the dimmer switch's wires around the copper loop.
Put the wire from the dimmer next to the copper wire(i extend the stranded wire an 1/8" further then the solid) then twist the marrete on. Give a tug on the stranded wire to make sure it is in the marrete tight.

3) Is there a special wire nut (larger diameter) I should use to accommodate the thick copper wire, especially once it's folded into a loop?
No need for a loop, see question 2.

4) The seemingly age-old question: should I then wrap e-tape from the nut to the copper wire's housing?
Not needed, as long as the marrete is on right the wire is going nowhere.
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Old 01-21-2010, 08:47 AM   #3
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Read the instructions that came with the dimmer. You may find a warning about using the dimmer with older low temperature rating wiring.
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Old 01-21-2010, 09:49 AM   #4
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Consider, also, the implications on working on an apartment). Does your friend own this appartment or rent? Do you have permission of the owner? Also, the legal implications....you are potentially putting at risk the other tennents, not just your friend. Is it worth it?
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Old 01-21-2010, 11:26 AM   #5
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Listen to "oberkc". This could get to be a legal issue for you!
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