adding a dimmer switch


Old 10-01-00, 06:45 PM
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I recently purchased a dimmer switch that came with two black wires & a green wire. I want to attach it to a light fixture in the back den. The current light fixture only has one white and one black cable and can only be turned on with a cord. How do I go about wiring this? Can anyone please help. I went to the local home improvement store but they weren't much help.
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Old 10-01-00, 09:54 PM
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What you need to do is "break" or interupt the black wire only with the 2 black wires on the dimmer. Hook one of the blacks to the light fixture black and the other to the "hot" side of the cord. The green wire is the "Ground"wire and should be connected to the ground system of your home.(the bare or green wire in the outlet or power cord)
Old 10-01-00, 11:25 PM
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I don't see any ground (green or copper) cable coming out of the light fixture. Can I still hook up the dimmer to the light without a ground or can I just screw in the ground cable on the dimmer to the metal switch box?
Old 10-03-00, 10:34 AM
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DaveZ is right if you have a switch mounted in a wall and your dimmer is a wall switch. If you have a pull chain switch in the light then you must use a dimmer designed for a cone mount designed to mount on the fixture.

I question the statement you made that the light can only be turned on with a cord. Do you turn this light on and off by unpluggin a cord? If so then you must install a wall box, run a 12/2 romex to from the junction box at the light to the wall box then mount the dimmer where a switch would normally be installed.

The green ground is expected to be omitted if you have an older non grounding wiring style. If you have a conduit protecting the wiring entering the switch box then the conduit would be the grounding conductor. It would be ok then to mount to the box. Normally the steel box is just nailed to the stud or lathing of a plaster wall and serves as no grounding path unless it has a bare or green wire in the box used as the grounding conductor.

Good Luck


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