Power to a dimmer for tracklighting

Old 10-25-03, 06:21 PM
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Power to a dimmer for tracklighting

I have an existing switchbox that controls a baseboard outlet (two blacks to my dimmer - whites bundled). I have tried to pigtail a 12ga. jumper from the whites and one leg of the black to an adjacent box. That box will control via dimmer, a ceiling track for lighting. I installed the ceiling box attaching black to black, white to white and ground to ground. Ran the romex down to the new junction box on the wall near the old existing box. I connected the two whites (one from the ceiling box, one from the jumper) and used the two blacks (one from the ceiling and one from the jumper) on each terminal of my dimmer. NO DICE. Note: using a tester I get dim results across the two blacks and bright results if I connect the bundled whites and the hot black leg. What gives? Please help. I know just enough to be dangerous. Thanks.
Old 10-25-03, 06:32 PM
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Hmmm... this one could be tough without a complete explanation (ie: naming all of the leads, where they come from, where they go.) Before we get into that, I'll play a hunch. Turn on the existing switch that controls the outlet. Now try the dimmer and see if the track lights up. My hunch is you tapped the switch leg from the previous switch instead of the hot. If that doesn't work, we'll move on to the next step.
Old 10-25-03, 10:14 PM
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My hunch is that CS's hunch is good. You used the wrong black wire on the preexisting dimmer.
Old 10-26-03, 04:10 AM
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Power to a dimmer for tracklighting

Well, I've tried the suggestions re turning on the dimmer at the source junction box. No go. Does the low light on the tester when I bridge the two blacks indicate I'm working off the switch leg? Do I just swap the leg to the "other" black and proceed? Any help or attached schematic would be appreciated.
Old 10-26-03, 06:44 AM
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YOur test results are indicating to me you have it wired correct. Could the track be defective or the ights installed wrong in the track? Try removing the track and install a simple one bulb fixture or receptacle as a test.
Old 10-26-03, 07:45 AM
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Thumbs up Followup to Power to a dimmer...

To all that helped out...I went back and checked part by part. Installed a second light on a different track segment. Then I swapped the black leg from the jumper to the opposite black in the original junction box (per CS's suggestion - good call but I think I had it right the first time). Both switched outlet and track now dimmed at the same time from the original dimmer. I swapped back the jumper to the original position and noted that now the new light on a defferent segment worked as it should. Completely independent from the dimmer on the original location.
Note: After opening up the "test" light, I found out that my "test" light was the problem. The The MR-16's pins had popped off the receiver during assembly. Problem #1 solved. Fixed that. (JoEd you were spot on) Tested again. All lights are ON!! Thanks to all for the late night an early morning support. This is a great list. Off to paint now.
Old 10-26-03, 07:23 PM
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Dimmers should never be used to control a receptacle. Please either remove the receptacle wiring from the dimmer or remove the dimmer.

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