dimmer switch


Old 12-30-05, 12:13 AM
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dimmer switch

I went to replace a dimmer switch in my kitchen as it snapped off and when I looked in the box there was 3 white wires, 3 black wires, and a copper wire and 2 screws at the back. I had purchased a single pole dimmer switch and attached all white wires together, black wires together and grounded my green wire. I am no do it your selfer but thought this would be an easy task. To my avail now my dimmer switch controls both lights in my kitchen, my hallway light and my outside light. I cannot turn these lights on without having to have the dimmer switch on. Once on I can turn the other switches off. Anybody have any suggestions to what I have done wrong. I tried different things with the wiring and it just popped by breaker. This is a temp fix but I would like to make it right again. Any help would be great. This is an older home.
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Old 12-30-05, 05:27 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
Well, I suppose it's too late to tell you this, but I'll tell you anyway, so that perhaps someone else thinking of the same project will not make the same mistake you made.

What you should have done is to pay attention to how the wires were connected to the old dimmer before you started this project. That's the rule that should always be followed when dealing with replacing a receptacle, switch or what have you.

Assuming that one and only one circuit breaker powers all of these lights, your wiring will most likely be as follows: All of the white wires will get tied together. One of the black wires will be tied to one "side" of the dimmer. All of the other wires will be tied to the other "side" of the dimmer. By "side" I am referring to screw terminals or wires off the dimmer. Any and all bare ground wires get tied together and get tied to the metal box and to the dimmer ground connection.

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