Dimmer Switch Question


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Old 11-22-03, 01:58 PM
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Dimmer Switch Question

I replaced the lightswitch plates (from thin plastic to wood), and hit a problem. The "D" pole for the dimmers - both ceiling fan and lights - is too short to securely attach the dimmer knobs now! Acccckkkk!

Do they make extensions for these things? I can't replace the dimmers, cuz I don't "do" electricity. But I really, really don't want to remove the nice wood plates and go back to the cheesey, thinner ones to be able to use the lights/fans.

Help???

Thanks
 
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Old 11-23-03, 01:37 AM
noxx
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Those must be some thick plates.

There are a few options, however I do not believe that a dimmer knob with a longer neck is available. If you do not wish to replace the dimmers with a slider type, I would suggest carefully taking a holesaw to the wooden plate about a 16th larger than the knob, allowing it to "sit-down" into the plate a bit.

Without seeing it I can't say whether or not that would provide the ease of use you need in a convenient switch, but it's worth a ponder.

Good luck with it.
 
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Old 11-23-03, 06:45 AM
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Noxx,

Thanks for your response. Unfortunately, a hole saw won't work since the wood plate has a metal plate on the back (to reinforce it?). I suppose I might be able to gouge out the wood on the face some to see if the knob would set deeper into the plate. There really is only a fractional shortage... the knob touches the shaft, but won't seat enough to lock in. I had hoped there was some sort of shaft extender available, and will check the home store later today... I hate it when this happens!
 
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Old 11-23-03, 07:32 AM
brickeyee
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Use a forstner bit to drill the plate thinner on the front. The diameter should be the same as the boss on the back of the knob. If the rim of the knob is also hitting you could use an even larger bit, or go to an electronica store and find another knob. The shaft is 1/4 inch D and is very standard.
 
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Old 11-23-03, 09:25 AM
resqcapt19
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The use of the thicker wood plate in place of the standard plate may cause excessive heat build up and early failure of the dimmer if it is being operated near its maximum permited load.
Don
 
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Old 11-23-03, 11:01 AM
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Eventually I will have to replace these old dimmers. They're the pot-type, encased in a metal unit unto themselves... which upon closer inspection is partly the problem. The housing doesn't seat entirely behind the faceplate, so the shaft isn't protruding as far as needed to get good use of the knob. A dab of super glue may do the trick, actually. The previous plate was brushed aluminum, and actually not much thinner than the wood, however there was no backplate to the aluminum to teeter on the dimmer housing, plus you could really torque down the alum's screws and get some flex outta the plate itself.

I removed the old foam insulation plate that was over the dimmers in hopes that would give me a tad more room, and it did. Now down to a hare's breath shortage on the shaft. Super glue's looking better 'n better!

Thx!
 
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Old 11-23-03, 11:04 AM
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Don,

Thanks for the information. These dimmers are prolly close to 18 years old, so I will have to have them replaced fairly soon anyway. Is there a potential fire issue?

Thx,
 
 

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