DIY Home Improvement Forum banner
1 - 8 of 8 Posts

· Registered
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey guys,

I'm doing a little home remodeling and have run into a small problem with one of the switches I am replacing.

I made a drawing to make it easier for you guys to understand me!:)

1: Black, White, Red, and Copper.
2: Black, White, and Copper.
3: Black, White, and Copper.​
The two things that are controlled from here are are..
  1. Ceiling light.
  2. Outlets in bedroom and bathroom lights/power.

1: Green Screw. (for copper ground wires)
2: Yellow Screw.
3: Gold Screw.
4: Yellow.​
Right now... All BLACK wires are connected together. ALL WHITE wires are connected together. All COPPER wires are just hanging around.

Which gives me this output... ALL the electrical outlets work. ALL bathroom/closet lights work. Ceiling light works but cannot be turned off because there is no switch yet.

What I want to do is keep all the outlets and bathroom/closet light constantly flowing. And I want the dimmer switch to control my ceiling LIGHT.

I tried playing with it and got a spark shot with it once the switch was flipped where at that point I just put it all away and started seeking professorial here!

Which wires do I connect where? I don't know too much electrical. I have successfully changed all other outlets except this one because they were simple. From playing with it so far... I know the black wire is the out going power, white wire is were the power gets fed to, and the copper wire is a ground wire.

The ground wire goes in the Green Screw (#1 on diagram of the switch) but I don't know where the rest of the wires go. The next step for me is to figure out which set of wires controls what and label them.. but then I don't know what to connect where on the dimmer.

· Registered
769 Posts
I am a little confused. Is your "ceiling light" in fact a fan with a light kit? If you want your dimmer to control your fan, how do you intend to control the light kit? Where did you get the light switch? Is there a brand and model number available? Is there another switch location that controls the ceiling fixture/light/fan?

My best guess is that one of the two BW cables is supply, the other goes to the outlet, and the BWR goes to the ceiling fixture. Whites are neutral and should be all tied together. Blacks of the two BW cables are tied together. B and W of the BWR cable, if I am correct, are to provide separate switched power to the light and fan.

I cannot help with the meaning of the switch colors, other than to assume green is ground. I am hoping a model number can lead to some instructions and explanation.

· Super Moderator
24,990 Posts
Ceiling light works but cannot be turned off because there is no switch yet.
One of the black wires is the ceiling light. Remove them one at a time until the light no longer comes on. My first guess would be the black in the cable with the red wire. Now you know which wire is the light and you can connect that to your switch along with a pigtail to the two remaining black wires.

You didn't say what you did with the red wire but it is probably the fan and the black for the light is probably the one in the cable with the red. To get the fan to work connect another pigtail to the fan control along with the red wire.

· Registered
350 Posts
That is a 3 way dimmer switch, will there be another 3 way switch also controlling the fan? If this is the only switch, you have the wrong switch.

do you want to control the speed of the fan with the dimmer? If so I think you will need a speed control specifically made for a fan. An ordinary dimmer switch can't handle that type of load.

· Registered
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Thanks for the replies guys.

Sorry I did not mean to put fan in my original post. There is no fan. It's a LED light. I will edit it out to avoid more confusion

I played with wires and was able to determine which set of wires is what. Here is an updated diagram

Also each of the screws on the dimmer can hold two wires.

I want to be able to turn the light ON/OFF and keep the power to the outlets, bathroom, and closet constant.

Combinations I tried without involving the switch.

B (main) w/ B (light) || W (main) w/ W (light) = LIGHT=ON / OUTLETS=OFF
B (main) w/ B (outlet) || W (main) w/ W (outlet) || R (outlet) not connected to anything = OUTLETS=ON / LIGHT=OFF
B (main) w/ B (light) w/ B (outlet)|| W (main) w/ W (light) w/ W (outlet)|| R (outlet) not connected to anything = OUTLETS=ON / LIGHT=ON

· Registered
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)

There is only one switch. Because I only want to turn one thing on/off and that is the LED ceiling light.

Wire set #1 in the diagram controls the outlets in my bedroom, closet light, and bathroom lights. I want these elements to ALWAYS be ON.

Wire set #3 in the diagram controls the LED ceiling light which I want to be controlled by the DIM SWITCH. So when I flick the switch ON, the LED ceiling light comes on. When I flick it OFF, the ceiling light should go OFF.

The switch should not at all effect wire set #1. I need wire set #1 to have a CONSTANT flow of electricity.

Here are some pictures I just took.

There is only one switch; however, each screw on that ONE switch can hold TWO wires. Which is why I thought this could work. I wanted to somehow connect the main source of power(#2) to the outlets, bathroom, closest (#1) and then tuck that behind the switch which controlled the LED light (#3).
1 - 8 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.