DIY Home Improvement Forum banner

Blew up dimmer. Now light won't work...

10683 Views 7 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  QCKiwi
Hi, I have 2 lights in my bathroom that are on a 3-way circuit. One of the switches had a dimmer. I purchased two new recess lights and went about installing them. You can see these in the pic. Please ignore all the wires in the closest one - I was testing a different fixture/bulb to see if it was the wiring or the fixture that was faulty.
Initially, I installed the closest (#1)one successfully and set about installing the second (#2). The screws holding the metal box in place were stripped, so I had a nightmare of a time trying to remove it. I attached the wires to the new junction box that came with the light fixture and left it to the next morning to attack the metal box again. I figured that this would be fine, but while using the bathroom this morning, the #1 light went out. I flicked the breaker and it worked again, but when I flicked the dimmer switch off and on again, there was a spark and the dimmer switch and close light ceased to work.
I set about installing the far light (#2), managed to remove the metal box and successfully installed it. I put the old 3-way switch back in place of the burnt-out dimmer, and it works, but only light #2 now works. Light #1 seems to be broken somehow. I tested the new recess fixture and it works when attached elsewhere. I then attached an old fixture to the outlet of #1 and tried several bulbs, but nothing seems to work. Is it possible that I have fried the wiring for this outlet? Wouldn't that render the entire 3-way circuit useless though, not just one of the two outlets?
Most importantly, how can I fix this?? Unfortunately I don't have a voltage tester, so I can't check if there is a current from the outlet wires.
Thanks for your help![email protected]/23346248681/in/dateposted-public/
See less See more
1 - 5 of 8 Posts
OK, so I bought a voltage tester and it seems that both the black and white wires are live! I also bought and installed a new dimmer switch. But still, only the second light works?!? Why? I've tried 3 different fixtures in the same outlet now and none works. I have also tried several different bulbs just in case. So my question is, if there is current coming through the wiring, why would it not be illuminating the bulb?? This makes no sense to me. Hope someone can help.
Thanks for your reply, Piedmont. I can draw a diagram tmorrow if it's really necessary, but as I said, I have now replaced the dimmer AND tried different fixtures/bulbs on the outlet that is definitely live, yet no joy. Trying to make sense of this... If there's electrical current flowing through those wires, why isn't the light lighting up?? As for the fixture that fried the dimmer, it was one of these... at only 9 watts!
A second one of the same fixture is working fine on the same 3-way circuit (though there is a brief delay between flicking the switch and the light coming on.
Any ideas?? Anyone??
Of course. I have tried 3 different fixtures and several bulbs. There is current coming through the wires, but the lights won't come on. Weird, no?
Update: I decided to take everything apart and start again from scratch - dimmer, fixtures, everything. The whole set-up is now working. Still can't understand what the problem was as all connections seemed good, but I guess there was just one that wasn't connected perfectly and that was throwing everything out of whack.
1 - 5 of 8 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.