multiple 3-way dimmers on one circuit?


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Old 03-13-07, 05:34 PM
C
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multiple 3-way dimmers on one circuit?

Finishing my basement. Was going to have 14 cans on 3 different dimmers all on one circuit. I am assuming this is possible to have. Is it? How are they connected? Instead of the 14/2 common(black) connecting to the first switch have all three pigtailed to the incoming common? Hope I am making sense since I am not an electrician. Will all three dimmers and wiring fit in a 3 gange box or will I need an extra deep box if they have one?

Thanks for any help.

Chris
 
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Old 03-13-07, 05:48 PM
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You connect multiple dimmers the same way you connect multiple switches. Incoming power is connected to one terminal of each dimmer.

You will want the largest box possible, and you will need to derate the dimmers to take into account multiple in one box. make sure you do not exceed the derated power on each one.
 
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Old 03-14-07, 06:55 AM
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Are you have three separate switches control three separate sections of these lights(not a three way switch setup) or are you having all the lights controlled from three separate locations (three way and four way switches required).

3way dimmers are normally only one per circuit. If you want dimmers at both locations then you need to buy special ones that talk to each other. I don't know if you can get a four way that fits in this. If you have three switches then one of them must be a four way.
 

Last edited by joed; 03-14-07 at 04:17 PM.
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Old 03-14-07, 09:15 AM
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I think Joe has a typo. You can certainly use more than one 3-way dimmer switch on the same circuit, but you usually don't use more than one 3-way dimmer switch controlling the same bank of lights.

Putting your three dimmer switches in the same box is possible, but it would be better to put them in separate boxes if feasible. That's to keep the box from getting too hot. However, if you buy 600-watt dimmers (the most common rating), you should still be able to put the three in the same three-gang box to control 5 fixtures each with 65-watt bulbs in each fixture. This has each dimmer controlling 325 watts. Check the dimmer instructions, but I think they should still be good for this many watts even after derating. But be advised, this box will get pretty hot when all three dimmers are on.

If you do put them all in the same box, the incoming power feed black wire can simply be connected with a wire nut to one wire from each dimmer. The connections are very simple.
 
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Old 03-14-07, 05:27 PM
C
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Thanks for the info! I will have to do a search to find out what derated means.

The setup will be (3) 3 way dimmers controlling each a different zone (3 zones) on one end of a L-shaped room. The other end being your normal 3 way switch. I am new at electrics so seeing these more complex wiring diagrams is leaving me somewhat overwhelmed. But take one connection at a time!

Thanks again!

Chris
 
  #6  
Old 03-14-07, 07:33 PM
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Into which end of the room will the power feed come?
 
  #7  
Old 03-15-07, 03:54 AM
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Derating means to lower the rating. This wold mean that a dimmer that can normally handle maybe 900 watts can only handle 750 watts if two dimmers are placed into the same box, or 600 watts if three dimmers are placed into the same box.
 
 

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