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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just moved to my house and didn't do any of the wiring, and I can't figure out a way to fix this, so maybe someone here has a suggestion...

I have a dining room light that is controlled by a single pole dimmer switch. There are 2 black wires connected to the top terminal and a single white wire connected to the bottom terminal.

On the same circuit, I have a hallway light that is connected to a pair of 3-way switches. Both switches have black wires attached to the top brass screws and a white wire attached to the bottom screw.

The 3-way switches work properly to control the hallway light, but only when the dining room light is turned on! When the dining room switch is off, the power is cut to the hallway light and the two 3-way switches. Similarly, the dimmer function on the dining room switch will dim the hallway light. Neither 3 way switch appears to control the dining room light in any way. How do I fix this so that the dining room switch only operates the dining room light, and not the hallway light?

Thanks in advance for all of your suggestions!
 

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Master Electrician
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1,453 Posts
Your hall circuit is getting its power from the dining rm circuit, and after it runs through the dining rm dimmer switch, which is why the dimmer has to be on and is dimming the hall lights.

Do you have a volt-meter? Do the wires come into the switch boxes in conduit or cables? Can you post pictures of the 3 switch boxes?

In the box with the dimmer switch…are they any wires tucked in the back? You state the 3-way switches both have a white wire attached to the bottom screw (which doesn’t seem right). Is that screw dark colored?
 

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Electrical Contractor
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3,368 Posts
You will have to move of those black wires from the top of the dining room dimmer to the bottom terminal, together with the white wire.

Pick one first, and if that doesn't work, then put it back and move the other one.

That should do the trick.

Be sure to TURN OFF THE POWER FIRST, BEFORE ATTEMPTING TO MOVE ANY WIRES ON THE SWITCHES!
 
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