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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 1000w dimmer switch that's connected to a chandelier and it gets hot after a short time. The chandelier has 18, 40w bulbs (720w) and it's on a 20amp circuit. My first question is whether or not I should be concerned about the hot dimmer (if you touch the plate screw heads, they're hot enough to be uncomfortable, but not hot enough to burn skin). My second question is why would a 1000w switch get hot under this load (defective switch or is it normal?)

Thanks.
 

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Mad Scientist
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At that sort of load, you might try using a metal cover plate instead of plastic, if you can stand the look. It'll get warm, but hopefully not hot. It gives the dimmer more area to spread out & dissipate the heat. It'll prolong the life of the dimmer.

Otherwise, as jproffer said, get some nylon screws.
 

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For me I will grab a metal switch plate cover that will act like heat sink that will help to keep the dimmer cooler.

Is this dimmer in single gang box or in mulit gang box ( if latter you will have to restrict the wattage rating )

Merci,
Marc
 

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JOATMON
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THAT is a lot of bulbs....and a lot of light.

Does it only get hot when you have it dimmed? If so, that is normal. What kind of dimmer is it?

If you find that your keeping it dimmed all the time, you might consider going to a smaller bulb, say 25w....with that many lights, 25w would still give you a lot of light and not have to be dimmed as much.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
For me I will grab a metal switch plate cover that will act like heat sink that will help to keep the dimmer cooler.

Is this dimmer in single gang box or in mulit gang box ( if latter you will have to restrict the wattage rating )

Merci,
Marc

It is a single gang. By how much will I need to restrict the wattage?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
THAT is a lot of bulbs....and a lot of light.

Does it only get hot when you have it dimmed? If so, that is normal. What kind of dimmer is it?

If you find that your keeping it dimmed all the time, you might consider going to a smaller bulb, say 25w....with that many lights, 25w would still give you a lot of light and not have to be dimmed as much.

It's a Levitron dimmer and it get's hot when dimmed and full power. The lights are in tinted (fake candle looking) cylinders, so they don't put out as much light as it sounds and the lights came with the chandelier.

My main concern is safety and if the hot dimmer is fine as is or not.
 

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The hot dimmer is normal unfortunately... If you don't like it switch you an on/off switch instead of the dimmer.
And if you find that you always set it at the same level, just change out the bulbs to give you that level and replace it with a simple on/off switch.
 

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Dimmers get hot.....**shrug** that's the way it is.

Get some nylon screws...... or quit touching it :)
If you here to help maybe you could be a little nicer instead of being short and you could have asked a couple key questions like derating , single gang or double, wattage, etc.
 

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If you here to help maybe you could be a little nicer instead of being short and you could have asked a couple key questions like derating , single gang or double, wattage, etc.
Maybe :)

Didn't realize I was "not nice" but ok.

Bottom line of it was, either stop touching it.....or get diff. screws.....right?

The reason doesn't really matter. Dimmers get hot....fact of life.



HOWEVER........

OP:
Sorry for being "not nice".
 

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Dimmers get hot.....**shrug** that's the way it is.

Get some nylon screws...... or quit touching it :)
The dimmer may need a special finned cover plate and metal screws in order not to overheat. Usually the dimmer comes with the proper cover plate. It that got lost then you will need to reduce the load (wattage) of light controlled by the dimmer, reducing to 50% of dimmer rating is not unheard of.
 
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Most 600 and 1000 watt dimmers do not come with the cover plate. Larger sizes do include a finned cover, but are typically used in commercial settings.
 

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You're fine. Dimmers work by simply increasing the resistance in the circuit and the result is heat. What you're experiencing is normal. If the load on the switch is within its spec'ed capacity and the box that it is installed in is to code then you have nothing to worry about from a safety perspective, which you said is your only concern.

By the way, with 18 bulbs, that must be one impressive chandelier :)
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Maybe :)

Didn't realize I was "not nice" but ok.

Bottom line of it was, either stop touching it.....or get diff. screws.....right?

The reason doesn't really matter. Dimmers get hot....fact of life.



HOWEVER........

OP:
Sorry for being "not nice".
"JPROFFER" - Don't worry about it...I got what you were saying and it didn't bother me a bit.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
You're fine. Dimmers work by simply increasing the resistance in the circuit and the result is heat. What you're experiencing is normal. If the load on the switch is within its spec'ed capacity and the box that it is installed in is to code then you have nothing to worry about from a safety perspective, which you said is your only concern.

By the way, with 18 bulbs, that must be one impressive chandelier :)
The box is original from the builder and the switch is within capacity. Sounds like I'm all set with this. Thanks again for everyone's help.
 
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