Wiring basement/recessed w/dimmer

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Old 02-18-06, 06:30 AM
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Wiring basement/recessed w/dimmer

Okay it's time to move on to the rest of the basement. The three way is installed and now I want to wire the recessed cans that I put in. I'll use power from an outlet I moved. Will some one please tell me the safest way to wire these? (and I mean step by step ) I am able to get the power to the first can. My inexperience told me to test with a regular switch as to not burn out the dimmer if my wires are crossed. So, the switch is in the off position, yet the light is on. When I hit the switch to on; the breaker cuts the power. Simple wire mix-up (I guess) Once I get the wires straight what is the best way to wire the rest of the cans? Any and all replies are welcome. Well maybe not the ones where a guy that knows what he is doing is cracking up!
 
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Old 02-18-06, 06:38 AM
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basement wiring recessed w/dimmer



Okay, it's on to the rest of the basement. Please help me understand(step by step) what I'm doing wrong when I wire a regular switch to one of my recessed cans and the light is in the off position yet the light is on. When I turn the switch to the on position the breaker cuts the power. I'll hook up the dimmer once the wiring is straight. Once all is well; what is the best and safest way to wire the rest of the cans and the dimmer.
 
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Old 02-18-06, 06:48 AM
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Please buy and read at least one book on home wiring. The book Wiring Simplified is inexpensive, and you will learn much from it. There may be other mistakes you are making in addition to the one you have apparently made. Electricity is nothing to play with. It can and does kill people and start fires.

If you turn a switch on and the breaker trips, then you obviously have a neutral wires to the switch or you have a ground wire shorting.

A switch is used to break the hot side of the circuit. A typical setup will have power coming in to the switch on a cable. The black wire is the hot wire, and the white wire is the neutral. The bare wire is a ground and does not carry current during normal operation.

You will also have a single cable going out to the light. This cable also has a black wire, a white wire and a ground wire.

At the switch you connect the two black wires to the switch, one to each of the two non-green screw terminals. You connect the two white wires together with a wire nut. You connect the two bare ground wires together with a wire nut, and you also pigtail a ground wire to the switch and also to the box, if the box is metal.

If I were a betting man (I am not), I would bet that you connected the black wires to one "side" of the switch and the two white wires to the other "side" of the switch.

At the light, you connect the three wires (black, white, and ground) to the three wires for the light. The ground may not have a wire, it may have a ground screw that you connect the wire to.

To wire additional lights from this one, you simply connect your cable for the next light to the same three locations as the first wire.

There are other ways to wire a light switch, where you don't bring full power to the switch first, but rather bring it into the light. These methods are a little more confusing, so let's not go there if we don;t have to.
 
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Old 02-18-06, 07:00 AM
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The three-way is installed
Don't you mean that the three-ways are installed? Three-ways are installed when you have more than one switch controlling a circuit.


I'll use power from an outlet I moved.
It sounds like you already did.


So, the switch is in the off position, yet the light is on. When I hit the switch to on; the breaker cuts the power.
First you have to get it right in the box where power is coming in to the first switch.

You should have black and white coming in. (Also grounds are always tied together, to the switch (and(/or) to the metal box)).

You should have red, black, and white going out either to the first light or to the other switch(es). You have to tell us the order in which the devices are to be connected, like 3-way, light, light, 3-way, or whatever.

In the first switch box, incoming white connects to outgoing white.
Incoming black connects to the black screw on the switch.
Outgoing red and black connect to the other two brass screw on the switch, one to each. (Black on the bottom, or red on the right depending on the layout of the switch. Doesn't matter too much except that I like all switches down to mean OFF.)

From the first light you need either 3-wire-plus-ground cable to the other switch and 2-wire-plus-ground cable to the next light in a deep box, or 4-wire-plus-ground cable to the next light.
Which way are you going to do it?
 
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Old 02-18-06, 07:12 AM
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three ways are done...

...it's the recessed lights that I'm now having trouble with. It's a case of simple wiring that I'm not familiar with.
 
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Old 02-18-06, 07:28 AM
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If we have solved your problem, great, please let us know.

If we haven't solved your problem then please provide us more information, such as the exact details of how you have wired everything, so we can pinpoint the problem.
 
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Old 02-18-06, 07:30 AM
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Then you need to tell us what wires you have connected to what.
Post a diagram and someone can fill in the missing pieces.

At the least, you need to describe exactly what you have so far.
 
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Old 02-18-06, 07:33 AM
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...betting man?...

...I'm glad your are not! I didn't even think to add the second line from the switch to the first can. I'll take heed to your warnings and suggestions. Here I go and I'll keep you posted. Thank you!
 
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Old 02-18-06, 07:36 AM
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New at, do it yourself dot com so...

... I'm not sure how to post a diagram!
 
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Old 02-18-06, 09:53 AM
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Wow, thank you ...

...gentlemen. How simple a task. Now I will run wire as needed for the other cans and I can prep for the dry wall. Again, thank you! Hey if you're ever consider visiting the Frankenmuth, Michigan area be sure to send me a message ahead of time; I'll show you around.

Gratefully,
Rob
 
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