Problem installing dimmer switch


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Old 01-23-06, 06:47 PM
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Problem installing dimmer switch

I just installed a dimmer switch in my living room and it is not working quite right. It is one half of a fan control. The dimmer switch controls the light and a regular rocker switch controls the fan. The light has 2 other switches that can turn it on and off. I bought the dimmer that has 3 wires plus a ground. 2 red and one black. I connected it to the 2 red and one dark colored wire in the outlet. It funtions fine by itself, but if the dimmer is turned off the other switches will not turn the light on. If the dimmer is on the other two switches will turn the light off. Any idea what I have done wrong here? Thanks.
 
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Old 01-23-06, 07:22 PM
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You have incorrectly connected the traveller wire to the common terminal. One of the terminals on the old switch was a different color than the other 2 on the switch. Try to remember which wire was connected to this terminal. This is the wire that would be connected to the Common on the dimmer. Check your instructions to see which lead is the Common.

Be sure to make all your connections with the power off for safety, and to avoid frying the dimmer.
 
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Old 01-23-06, 07:30 PM
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Originally Posted by mjferguson
I just installed a dimmer switch in my living room and it is not working quite right. It is one half of a fan control. The dimmer switch controls the light and a regular rocker switch controls the fan. The light has 2 other switches that can turn it on and off. I bought the dimmer that has 3 wires plus a ground. 2 red and one black. I connected it to the 2 red and one dark colored wire in the outlet. It functions fine by itself, but if the dimmer is turned off the other switches will not turn the light on. If the dimmer is on the other two switches will turn the light off. Any idea what I have done wrong here? Thanks.
Are the dimmer and the rocker switch combined in one device? Was the dimmer clearly marked that it is suitable for use with a three way circuit? Did you replace a three way switch with three terminals or a four way switch with four terminals? Answer those questions and we should be able to help.
 
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Old 01-23-06, 07:35 PM
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The first thing you do when you remove anything is draw a picture of where all the wires go. If the original switch had 3 connections, one of them would have had a different colored screw. The other 2 connections don't care which screw/wire they go to. So......

Power off. Remove the dimmer. Label the 2 red wires in the box a-b, 1-2 - - whatever. Hook one of the red wires to the dark one. Power on. Do the other switches work OK? Write down if this combination works with the other switches. Now, power off - try the other red wire with the dark one. Power on. Do the other switches work? Write down if this combination works or not.

If only one of the 2 combinations above worked with the other switches, hook the 2 red ones together.

If the other switches only work with one combination of wires you have another problem.

Now, whatever wire worked with both combinations to make the other switches work goes to the BLACK wire on your dimmer, and the other 2 to the red wires.

If this doesn't work I'd suspect the dimmer.

UNK
 
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Old 01-23-06, 08:15 PM
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OK, this is some great information, but I am still a little confused. So are you saying the red wires on the dimmer do not connect to the 2 red wires in the outlet? What I have in the wall (and what was connected to the rocker before are 2 red wires and one brown (or maybe black) with a white stripe. That is not including the ground. So I was just assuming the 2 reds on the dimmer would go to the 2 reds in the wall and the black from the dimmer would go to the brown/black with white stripe? Is that not the case? This seemed so easy, I guess I should have not assumed it was that straight forward?
 
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Old 01-23-06, 08:45 PM
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Originally Posted by mjferguson
OK, this is some great information, but I am still a little confused. So are you saying the red wires on the dimmer do not connect to the 2 red wires in the outlet? What I have in the wall (and what was connected to the rocker before are 2 red wires and one brown (or maybe black) with a white stripe. That is not including the ground. So I was just assuming the 2 reds on the dimmer would go to the 2 reds in the wall and the black from the dimmer would go to the brown/black with white stripe? Is that not the case? This seemed so easy, I guess I should have not assumed it was that straight forward?
take a peek into the back of the box (just trace the wall wires with your eyes) and you should notice that a red wire comes by itself and then a red and black are coming out together. If this is the case then the single red wire is probably your common wire and the pair in the same romex are more than likely the travelers. once you have the common found this way, connect that to the balck wire of the dimmer and connect the 2 wires comming from the same romex to the 2 red wires.

but I have to tell you - if you have a ceiling fan that has the light portion controlled from 3 locations and teh fan is only controlled from 1 location and the product you bought is to control both fan and light in this manner, then you have the wrong product. It is hard to say without know if the above is true and what teh model number of the product you bought was
 
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Old 01-24-06, 08:46 AM
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The dimmer I bought is only to control the light, not the fan. Thanks for the input, I will try to fix it up when I get home tonight.
 
 

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