Replacing Old Dimmers

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  #1  
Old 06-25-05, 01:29 PM
legalaliens
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Replacing Old Dimmers

Hello.

I am attempting to replace two old dimmers that are located right next to each other behind a single wall plate.

The old dimmers have three wires: red, yellow, and black.
The new dimmers have three wires: black, black, and green (ground).

It is not obvious (at least to me) which of the wires on the old dimmers are ground. It is also not obvious by the wires in the wall (again, at least to me) what are hot wires and what are ground.

The old dimmer wires are connected using twist connectors to the wires in the wall in the following manner:

red to black
yellow to red
black to black

How should I connect the new dimmers? The instructions don't cover this configuration.
 
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  #2  
Old 06-25-05, 05:51 PM
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Sounds to me like your new dimmers are standard dimmers and your old dimmers are 3-way dimmers. Are there other switches somewhere which also control the same lights that the dimmers control?
 
  #3  
Old 06-25-05, 07:44 PM
legalaliens
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Thanks for the reply.

You are correct, the new dimmers are standard dimmers.

There are no other switches that control the same lights that the old dimmers control. That is the main reason I bought the standard dimmers, since the 3-way dimmers at Lowes showed two switches going to a single light.

The house is about 18 years old. Maybe they put in 3-way dimmers by mistake? Would they still work without another switch?
 
  #4  
Old 06-25-05, 08:01 PM
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Do you live in North America?

Right now the story doesn't make any sense. I suggest you read a few books on home wiring and try to make some sense of it. Since we can't see your house, we can't do it from here and you're going to have to do it yourself (or call in a pro).
 
  #5  
Old 06-26-05, 06:09 AM
legalaliens
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Thanks again for the response.

I know my description isn't very good. Let me try to give more details.

The old dimmers (there are two of them, side by side, in one switch box) each have three wires coming out of them, one red, one yellow, and one black.

Each dimmer controls one pair of lights in the same room (2 pairs of two lights total = 4 lights). The lights (bulbs) are recessed into the ceiling.

Each dimmer is connected seperately to wires within the box using twist caps. They are connected red-to-black, yellow-to-red, and black-to-black. There are 6 total twist caps used to connect both dimmers.

The breaker that controls these dimmers also controls the electrical outlets within the room. Not sure if this is important or not.

I can certainly understand if this is not enough information to help me. Can I post pictures here? I can take some photos with my digital camera, if you think it would be helpful. If not, thanks again for the time you've already spent trying to help me.

I live in Virginia.
 
  #6  
Old 06-26-05, 01:10 PM
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Your description is clear, but the installation still doesn't make much sense. Are you sure that these are simple dimmers, and maybe not ceiling fan controls? Are there no other switches in the room at all?
 
  #7  
Old 06-26-05, 03:40 PM
legalaliens
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The old dimmers were three-way dimmers. I forgot about a switch upstairs (the room with the dimmers is in the basement) that allows us to turn off all the lights in the room with the dimmers.

I successfully replaced the old dimmers with two new three-way dimmers. I called a Lutron 1-800 number for assistance. The person at Lutron told me to make sure I connected the black wire in the wall (the one that was connected to the black wire on the old dimmer) to the black wire on the new dimmer. The other wires on the new dimmer (2 red ones) were to be connected to the other two wires in the wall (not important which-to-which). The green wire on the new dimmer I connected to a bare copper wire that is inside the wall box.

Both new dimmers are working fine.

Thanks for all the help and suggestions. This forum is great!
 
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