Desperate Need for help with electrical wiring!

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  #1  
Old 07-23-05, 06:57 PM
Quang
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Question Desperate Need for help with electrical wiring!

It is my first home project relates to electrical wiring,
and the current electrical wiring is quite confusing.
In hope you can guide me to make proper wire connection.

I mounted a new 4 lights fixture on a family room wall,
about 3 feet above the existing single switch (calls switch A).
I want to replace a single switch A with a rotary single pole
dimmer switch and to be able to use the dimmer switch to control
the new installed light. Can you guide me to make a proper wiring
for this set up based on the current wiring described below?

- Right now the single switch (switch A) controls one
outlet (calls outlet #1) on an adjacent family room wall.

- In addition, there is another switch (calls switch B)
on an adjacent dining room wall, which has 3 switches.
One of the 3 switches controls the same outlet (outlet #1).
The other 2 switches of switch B controls seperate lights,
one in the kitchen and one in the dining room.
What I mean 'control' is that if I plug a lamp into the
outlet #1, I can turn on/off the lamp using either
the single switch A or using one of the 3 switches
of the switch B.

A. Inside switch A electrical box, I see three sets of wires
come out from 3 seperate cables.

As the switch is facing me,
- The RED wire from FIRST cable goes into a lower right side hole on the
back of the switch A.
- The WHITE wire from the FIRST cable goes into the lower left
side hole of the switch A.
- The BLACK wire from a SECOND cable goes into an upper right
side hole of the switch A.
- The BLACK wire from the FIRST cable joined with the BLACK wire
come from the THIRD cable.
- The WHITE wire from the SECOND cable joined with the WHITE wire
comes from the THIRD cable.
- The copper wires from each of 3 cables joined together.

B. Inside switch B (that has 3 switches) electrical box,
I looked at the wiring that comes into one of the 3 switches
that controls the outlet #1.

- As the switch is facing me, I see a WHITE wire comes into
the upper left side hole on the back of switch.
- The RED wire comes into the upper right side of the switch.
- The BLACK wire comes into the lower right side of the switch.
- I see a copper wire come out of the cable and it is not joined
with none of other copper wires in the switch B electrical box.
Looks like the cooper going back into the cable.

I didn't look at the wiring of the other two switches of the
switch B as I thought they may be not considered in thid wiring
set up.

C. Inside the outlet #1 electrical box

- A BLACK wire from the cable goes into the right side
of the upper receptacle.
- A WHITE wire goes into the left side of the upper receptacle.
- A copper wire goes into the left side of the lower receptacle.

D. My new 4 lights fixture has a BLACK, WHITE and a ground wire.

E. I also got a single pole, push on/off rotary dimmer switch.

Also I don't want any of the switch A or switch B to control the outlet #1. The outlet #1 should be hot or ON all the time.
 

Last edited by Quang; 07-25-05 at 02:42 AM.
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  #2  
Old 07-23-05, 08:28 PM
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Location: United States
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Nice explanation. Good job. Almost all the information we need.

Just FYI, at switch A, you have the following:
  • The SECOND cable is the power feed.
  • The FIRST cable is a switch loop to the 3-way switch at B.
  • The THIRD cable takes switched power to the receptacle.
Here's the additional information I need. After you provide it, I can tell you exactly what to do:
  1. What do you want the 3-way switch at B to do when you're done? I recommend that you let it control your new light fixture in addition to the new dimmer, and that you exchange your single-pole dimmer for a 3-way dimmer. Otherwise, that switch at B is useless.
  2. What connections are on your new dimmer? If you elect to keep the single-pole dimmer, then describe those. If you decide to return it and buy a 3-way dimmer (as I recommend), then describe those.
  3. Which screw on each of the two existing 3-way switches is black colored? The screw that is black is the "common". I'm already pretty sure that the answer is where the black wire is on each switch.
 
  #3  
Old 07-23-05, 08:46 PM
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Duplicate post...deleted

John....I believe a possibility exists that the third cable is incoming power and the second cable is the switched to the outlet.
 

Last edited by Roger; 07-23-05 at 10:06 PM.
  #4  
Old 07-24-05, 01:42 PM
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Roger, thanks for alerting me to that possibility. You are correct.
 
  #5  
Old 07-24-05, 08:05 PM
Quang
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Answer John's question...

Hi John,

I took your advice, which is a good idea, and I already exchanged for a
3-way dimmer.

My new 3-way push on/off dimmer (rated 600w-120VAC) has 4 wires
- One hole on the lower back of the dimmer, it has a RED and a BLACK wires comes out.
- Another hole on the lower back of the dimmer, it has a GREEN and a BLACK wires comes out.

As the switch A is facing me,

- a BLACK screw is located on upper left side of switch A which is the same location where a BLACK wire come into a hole on the back of the switch.
- a BRASS (yellow reddish) screw is located on lower left of switch A which is the same location where a WHITE wire comes into a hole on the back of the switch.
- a sort of BLACK (may be another BLACK) screw is located on the lower right side of switch A which is the same location where a RED wire comes into a hole on the back of the switch.

On switch B (has 3 switches), the one switch that controls the outlet #1 is facing me,

- a BLACK screw is located on the lower right side of the switch which is the same location where a BLACK wire is comes into a hole on the back of switch.
- a BRASS screw is located on the upper right side of the switch which is the same location where a RED wire comes into switch.
- another BRASS screw is located on the upper left side of the switch which is the same location where a WHITE wire comes into a hole on the back of switch.

Please let me know if you have any further question...
 
  #6  
Old 07-25-05, 09:12 AM
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Location: United States
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Okay, if you do this carefully, it will be relatively easy. All changes will be made at switch A. Leave switch B alone. Move only one wire at a time so that you don't get mixed up.
  1. Run a new black/white/bare cable from Switch A to the new light fixture. I'll call this the FOURTH cable.
  2. Disconnect the black wire (from the SECOND cable) from switch A.
  3. Remove the wire nut connecting the black wire from the THIRD cable to the black wire of the FIRST cable.
  4. Use a wire nut to connect the black wire from the THIRD cable to the black wire from the SECOND cable, and to the red wire from your new 3-way dimmer. Be careful not to mix up the THIRD cable with the FIRST cable. The black wire of the FIRST cable should still be unconnected at this point.
  5. Connect the black wire from the FIRST cable to the black wire from the FOURTH cable.
  6. Connect the white wire from the FOURTH cable to the white wires from the SECOND and THIRD cables.
  7. Remove the red wire (from the FIRST cable) from the old switch, and connect it to either of the two black wires from your new dimmer.
  8. Remove the white wire (from the FIRST cable) from the old switch and connect it to the other black wire from your new dimmer.
  9. Connect all four grounding wires to the green wire on your new dimmer.
 
  #7  
Old 07-25-05, 09:49 AM
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Posts: 2,117
A 3-way switch has 1 "C"- for- "Common" terminal, and 2 "S"-for-"Select" terminals, S1 & S2.

The basic switch-operation is to "select" either S1 ( C-to-S1), or S2 ( C-to-S2). The "standard" color-code is Black connected to the "C" terminal, and Red & White connected to the two "S" terminals.

If both switches "select" the Red wire, say S1, the circuit is closed and the fixture is illuminated. If anyone of the two switches , say Switch "2", next "selects" the White wire, S2, the circuit is switched "Off",with Switch "1" selecting the Red wire,and Switch "2" selecting the White wire.If Switch "1" is next operated, switching "C" to "S2" ( White wire), the circuit is re-closed.

The Black "C"-terminal wire is either the "Feed-In" wire, or the Black wire that connects to the Black fixture lead.If you dis-connect the Black wire that is the "Feed-In" wire, both the Red and White wires at that switch will have Zero volts-to- Ground, the "Feed" having been dis-connected. If you dis-connect the Black wire that is connected to the fixture, either the Red/ White wire will have 120 volts-to-Ground, the "Feed-In" wire at the other switch having "selected" either the Red wire or the White wire.

Good Luck & Enjoy the Experience!!!!!!!11
 
  #8  
Old 07-28-05, 01:14 AM
Quang
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Thumbs up

Yahoo! I am so excited....the ligh is on, the dimmer works great, the light can be turned off by switch B, and the outlet #1 is hot all the time. Everything works exactly the way I want it to be. Just like magic.

Thank you for making my first project relates to electrical easy!!!
I am really appreciate for all the helps and advices.

Quang.
 
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