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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm admittedly a novice when it comes to electrical work, but I'm equipped enough to replace the basics. I pulled out this switch to replace and got completely lost.
It looks like both the dimmer and the single pole switch are for the same light. The switch goes to kitchen lights that are currently pulled out and capped off, but will eventually be replaced with a canned lighting series. The goal was to replace this with a new single pole switch because we don't need a dimmer in the kitchen. I wasn't sure what to expect when I pulled this out, but it wasn't this.
My question is, which wires should be capped/removed to remove the dimmer, which wires connect to the new single pole, and which wires need to be tied together to keep anything else in this run powered?
There's 5 wires entering this box, so I'm assuming that this is in the middle of a larger run. I can't tell which is the supply wire; although I suspect it is the lower left.
I hope I have included enough information and pictures to make this clear enough. Thank you in advance for the help.

I drew up a diagram the best I could to help clear up the mess in the picture.
Gas Electrical wiring Electricity Cable Machine
Gas Electrical wiring Cable Wire Electrical supply
Door Electrical wiring Gas Technology Wire
Slope Rectangle Parallel Font Tree

The new switch. Just a basic rocker.
Circuit component Electronic component Machine Liquid Fashion accessory
 

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According to your drawing, the switch on the left is for a single light fixture and the other one is a e way switch. There is another switch somewhere.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Is there another switch perhaps at another door in the kitchen? The one on the right looks like a 3 way.
There is one other switch that I suppose could be connected. It is another dimmer switch. But it's on the other side of the room and doesn't really make sense to be part of the series.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
According to your drawing, the switch on the left is for a single light fixture and the other one is a e way switch. There is another switch somewhere.
My thought was the dimmer was a threeway switch with the single pole because there is only one wire in the ceiling; there's nothing else obviously that it goes to. I'm not sure if you can have a single pole and a dimmer to the same fixture, but nothing about this set up really makes sense to me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
And the single pole is a switch loop.
I think some of your message might have been cut off. If the single pole is the loop then I would need to determine which wire is the supply and connect the new switch to that one. But what do I do with the remaining wires? There's 5 wires entering the box, so there HAS to be more going on than just the 3 way switches right?
 

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My message was not cut off. I was just stating that the switch looked like a switch loop set up.

You mentioned in your first post
"It looks like both the dimmer and the single pole switch are for the same light. "
I was wondering why you would think this. Does both switches control the same light/s?
I thought the switch on the left (switch loop) would be for a different function and not that same light.
 

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Let me clean up that drawing a bit. (safety ground simply goes everywhere so no need to illustrate it).

Font Line Slope Parallel Sharing


OK so I took the liberty of "remarking with colored tape" some of the wires, for functional purposes.

  • black for always-hot (note that switch pigtail from the always-hot wirenut)
  • blue for the switched-hot to one set of lights (controlled only here).
  • purple for the switched-hot to the other set of lights (controlled both here and somewhere else).

The stuff on the right is a straight-up 3-way circuit.



The diagram colors are chosen to match function, note 2 yellow travelers: 1 is hot and 1 is not. A typical residential installation like yours will be a hot mess because nobody re-marks wires with electrical tape to reflect function. If you want to, 5-packs of colored electrical tape are $5 at box stores.

And the "red" in this diagram maps to the "purple" in my tune of your diagram.


Anyway, your /3 cable leaving this box is carrying "yellow, yellow, red=purple" in the above diagram.

So to eliminate the dimmer, swap the 3-way dimmer for a plain 3-way switch. The black pigtail coming off the "always-hot" cluster goes to the BLACK screw on the plain 3-way. The brass screws get black/red from the cable, which are your travelers.

I know you don't realize or care that there's a 3-way switch, but it was probably installed for Code reasons. Also Harper's Rule: there was method to the last guy's madness... it may make sense once everything is working properly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Let me clean up that drawing a bit. (safety ground simply goes everywhere so no need to illustrate it).

View attachment 668658

OK so I took the liberty of "remarking with colored tape" some of the wires, for functional purposes.

  • black for always-hot (note that switch pigtail from the always-hot wirenut)
  • blue for the switched-hot to one set of lights (controlled only here).
  • purple for the switched-hot to the other set of lights (controlled both here and somewhere else).

The stuff on the right is a straight-up 3-way circuit.



The diagram colors are chosen to match function, note 2 yellow travelers: 1 is hot and 1 is not. A typical residential installation like yours will be a hot mess because nobody re-marks wires with electrical tape to reflect function. If you want to, 5-packs of colored electrical tape are $5 at box stores.

And the "red" in this diagram maps to the "purple" in my tune of your diagram.


Anyway, your /3 cable leaving this box is carrying "yellow, yellow, red=purple" in the above diagram.

So to eliminate the dimmer, swap the 3-way dimmer for a plain 3-way switch. The black pigtail coming off the "always-hot" cluster goes to the BLACK screw on the plain 3-way. The brass screws get black/red from the cable, which are your travelers.

I know you don't realize or care that there's a 3-way switch, but it was probably installed for Code reasons. Also Harper's Rule: there was method to the last guy's madness... it may make sense once everything is working properly.
You sir are the real hero here. The picture is very appreciated and it helped a lot.

I have made the changes you suggested. I won't know if a while if they work or not (since the light that the switch goes to has been removed and capped off. It will be repurposed at a later date) but nothing sparked and the house didn't burn down when I flipped the breaker back on so that's promising.

Thank you again, and I'll try to update once I put in the new lighting.
 
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