Dimmer install. dilema...

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  #1  
Old 10-06-06, 11:17 PM
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Dimmer install. dilema...

Greetings experts ! My uncle (an electrician) is a member of this forum and is away on vacation and unable to help w/my problem. So I thought I'd try my luck and post this question. I have limited elec. experience but consider myself as above the "novice" stage.

I'm trying to install a rotary dimmer switch at my parents house. The lights are controlled from either of two wall switches on each end of the room. I have the correct type of dimmer for a two location circuit. But the the color coded wires don't match up with the house wiring connected to the 3-way switch I want to replace with the dimmer. The three wires are yellow (2) and one blue. and the four wires on the new dimmer are black(2) one red and one green. I know that the green is the ground but that's it. On the old switch the 3 wires are connected like this.. one yellow on the left side, and yellow (upper) and blue (lower) on the right. I tried the levitron web site but the wiring diagram is configured for the advanced electrician. I hope the above info. is clear enough to help me with a solution. I will be greatful for anyones help... and I'll keep checking back... Thanks to all..

-db-
 
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  #2  
Old 10-07-06, 04:17 AM
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Do not pay attention to the location of terminals on a switch. They are meaningless. On a three way switch there are four terminals. One is for the common, two are for the travelers. The fourth terminal is a ground and may not be present on older switches.

The ground, if present, is obvious. It is painted green and at one end of the switch. It is also directly connected to the metal of the switch housing.

The common terminal is a different color than the two traveler terminals.

On your dimmer, the traveler connections are the black wires, and the common is the red.

You should have looked at the old switch you removed, to see which is the common terminals and which are the travelers. This will tell you which house wires are which. This is especially important if the house wires are all the same color, or do not use standard colors.

In your case, I suspect that the two yellowwires are the travelers and that the blue s the common. If this matches with the terminal colors on the switch that you observed then you have your answer.
 

Last edited by racraft; 10-07-06 at 05:22 PM.
  #3  
Old 10-07-06, 03:34 PM
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Actually the yellow and blue are the wall wires.
On the dimmer the red is the common and the black are the travellers. If I had to guess I would connect the red to the blue and the black tothe yellows.
 
  #4  
Old 10-07-06, 05:11 PM
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Sorry, got it backwards... I have corrected my older response.
 

Last edited by racraft; 10-07-06 at 05:22 PM.
  #5  
Old 10-07-06, 05:42 PM
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Right on Targer !!.. racraft

Thanks to your prompt and accurate response my problem is solved. I'm glad to have this forum avail. and you've been of great help. tks again... -db-
 
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