Dimmer to regular switch- odd findings


Old 05-18-04, 11:51 AM
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Dimmer to regular switch- odd findings

I removed a dimmer switch because I put in a ceiling fan. When i opened it up there were 3 sets of white and black wires?? I tied all 3 white wires but I only have two places on the new switch to put black wires. I have tried to connect only one black to the light switch and tie off the other two but no matter what combination I tried for some reason i could not get certain things to work when I did this. Is it safe to double the wires and connect all 3 to the light switch? I did this and everything now works but I am concerned. "
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Old 05-18-04, 12:07 PM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
Removing something by disconnecting all the wires in the box is always a mistake. This would have been a trivial exercise if you had carefully recorded all the connections before disconnecting anything.

Okay, out of the pulpit...

First, make sure you have a single-pole switch to replace a single-pole dimmer, or a 3-way switch to replace a 3-way dimmer. I'll assume that the dimmer was not a 3-way dimmer (i.e., it only had two wires, not counting any grounding wire).

The solution is to connect two of the black wires to each other and to a black pigtail (a short piece of wire) with a wire nut, and to connect the other end of the pigtail to one screw on the switch. Then connect the remaining black wire to the remaining screw on the switch.

Which two go with the pigtail? Try all combinations (there are only three).

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