Old vs New lightswitch


  #1  
Old 03-15-04, 12:15 AM
DogLeg
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Old vs New lightswitch

I'm replacing a lightswitch in my 10-year-old house with a dimmer (toggle + slider combo). The old switch had three wires, two hots and a common according to the switch itself (wires are black, black, and red). The bare copper grounds are tied together in the box. There is another switch also controlling this circuit, but I'm leaving that one alone.

My problem is, the new switch calls for a positive, a negative, and a ground. Just to test, I put the "common" wire in the on the ground post - lights no workie. Duh.

What goes where? Do I need to tie an extra conductor from the ground point to the switch ground? What do I do with the the third wire?

TIA
 
  #2  
Old 03-15-04, 04:28 AM
R
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The old switch is a 3-way switch. This light can be controlled from at least one more location.

You need to install a 3-way dimmer.
 
  #3  
Old 03-15-04, 06:53 AM
J
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Just to test, I put the "common" wire in the on the ground post.
You're lucky that you are still alive. Don't guess like this.
 
  #4  
Old 03-15-04, 09:22 AM
hotarc
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Re: Old vs New lightswitch

Originally posted by DogLeg
...
Do I need to tie an extra conductor from the ground point to the switch ground? What do I do with the the third wire?

Like Bob said, you need a 3-way switch. And you'll need to add a short piece of bare or green wire, from the "ground point" to the green screw on the switch. Use a wirenut to make this connection.

Now when you install the new switch, make sure you put the "common" wire on the "common" of the new switch.
 
 

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