trouble wiring a 3-way dimmer switch!

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  #1  
Old 07-22-04, 11:10 PM
guedrygolfer
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trouble wiring a 3-way dimmer switch!

I'm usually good at do-it-yourself projects, but this one stopped me cold. I'm trying to replace a 3-way wall switch (two switches control the lights) with a 3-way dimmer switch. The wiring diagram doesn't seem to match with the wires coming out of the wall. There are three switches in the box, one of which is another 3-way dimmer for a different fixture. Even referring to that one didn't help me.

The new dimmer switch has a green ground wire (bottom), a brown wire (bottom), a red wire (top), and a black wire (top).

The old switch has two black wires on the bottom (marked common with an arrow pointing to each of them). One of these wires goes to another switch next to it, and the other black one goes into the wall. The two other wires on the top are both black, and the screws are all the same color.

There are several bare copper wires stranded together in the box that I assume are ground wires, but the existing dimmer switch doesn't even have a wire connected to the green screw.

Any help would be appreciated! I'm about to give up and call an electrician (I'm such a failure). If I hook the wires up incorrectly, could I damage something or cause a fire? Or will it just not work?

Anne
 
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  #2  
Old 07-23-04, 04:47 AM
mgb
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The old switch has two black wires on the bottom (marked common with an arrow pointing to each of them). One of these wires goes to another switch next to it, and the other black one goes into the wall. The two other wires on the top are both black, and the screws are all the same color.

Is the old switch a toggle switch? I'm assuming so. If so then, connect the 2 wires that were on the common screw to the common of the dimmer(it should say on the switch or the directions). Connect one of the remaining 2 wires from the dimmer to one of the wires on the old switch, then connect the remaining wire of the dimmer switch to the remaining wire of the old switch. Connect the green wire of the dimmer switch to the ground(bare) wires.
 

Last edited by mgb; 07-26-04 at 04:24 AM.
  #3  
Old 07-23-04, 05:35 PM
guedrygolfer
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Thanks!

Thanks for your help! It's only simple if you know what to do.

Anne
 
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