Smoking Light switch?

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Old 09-01-09, 08:36 AM
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Smoking Light switch?

I just pulled out the light switch in my basement family room because it was smoking at the switch and dimming out the lights. Now hereís my real problem. The switch as far as I know is the only switch that controls this string of 5 ceiling lights in by basement. When I pulled the light switch out it was only wired to two black wires. but still inside the now empty box was two white wires that were wire nutted together? What kind of switch do I need to replace this?
 
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Old 09-01-09, 08:47 AM
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I don't mean to joke but the same kind. You may want to get a commercial grade switch for around $4-$5 instead of one of the 69Ę ones. in the bin at BigBox.
 
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Old 09-01-09, 09:02 AM
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Hey thatís OK. Iím not that handy when it comes to home wiring. Iím have a backround of Military trained in shipboard electronics, on weapon systems. So the theory I get. But what I was looking for is a switch with two black wires. Local ACE only has red/black/green? So how I was trained is, If it doesnít match exactly, it doesnít match?
 
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Old 09-01-09, 09:26 AM
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If this is the only switch that controls that set of lights you just need to purchase a single pole switch.

Besides dimmers I have not seen switches with wires already attached.
 
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Old 09-01-09, 09:33 AM
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I bought a dimmer switch from my local ACE only and it has red/black/green. I wired red to black. Black to Black, but where does the Green wire go I do not have a solid copper wire coming from the box.
 
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Old 09-01-09, 09:49 AM
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If the box is plastic or fiberglass, the green is left unconnected. If the box is metal, drive a 10-32 screw into one of the holes in the back, wrap a 6" long bare wire around the screw and connect the other end to the green screw on the dimmer.
 
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Old 09-01-09, 10:04 AM
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Ok I went back down and took the whole thing apart. The box is metal I have two sets of electrical wire coming down to the top of the box. Out of the one set is Black/white/copper and the same out of the other set. Both whites are wire nutted together and both blacks go to my switch. Both solid coppers go through the bottom of the box and I can see the twisted up under the box (cant really get to them with out pulling the whole box out.) The new switch I bought has a Red/Black/Green. I wired the Red to Black and Black to Black and the switch works. Do I need to pull the solid coppers up and attach the green from the switch to them or can I attach the green to the box itself?
 
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Old 09-01-09, 10:05 AM
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A dimer switch changes things. You need to use a dimmer switch that exceeds your total load. What is the max for the dimmer you installed. What is the watts of each bulb. They are incandescents not CFL aren't they?
 
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Old 09-01-09, 10:18 AM
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They are incandescents not CFL, 2 at 100 watts 1 at 60 watts and 1 at 75 watts. for a total of only four lights I think I said It was five earler. the new switch is 600 watts/120 v.a.c. for permanetly installed incandescent only. (same as the old switch)
 
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Old 09-01-09, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by chdstraw View Post
Do I need to pull the solid coppers up and attach the green from the switch to them or can I attach the green to the box itself?
Yes you do. Whoever put those in the first place did it wrong; the grounds should be spliced inside the box using a wirenut. They should also be spliced to a ground screw on the metal box and to the ground screw on the switch.



This is the goal. You can make this yourself or buy one premade (Ideal Term-a-nut). The forked spade goes to the switch, the screw to the metal box and the wirenut to the rest of the bare wires. If you make it yourself, the spades are not required -- wire wrapped around the screw is okay.
 
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