Installing a single pole dimmer in a multi junction box


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Old 05-09-10, 08:57 PM
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Question Installing a single pole dimmer in a multi junction box

Hi.
We wanted to install a dimmer in our dinning room, which is a single pole light but in a dual junction box shared with the Kitchen. The kitchen switch is a 3-way.

We bought a Levitron superslide single pole dimmer, which has 2 black wires and 1 green. When we opened up the junction box and found that the dining room switch had 1 red, and 2 blacks, we did not know where to start!

The red wire is inserted in the top of the current switch. While 1 black is at the bottom in the quick insert, and the 2nd black wraps around the screw at the bottom (beside the 1st black wire), but it also continues over to the 3-way switch for the kitchen (into the common insert)!?

The kitchen switch has a red inserted at the top, and another separate black inserted in another quick insert, and then the black wire from the dinning switch coming across and inserted into the opening called 'common'.

There is no ground coming out of either switch, but we can see there is a bare copper wire coming up from the floor and another coming down from the ceiling - both are secured to the back of the junction box by other screws. Also we see white wires that are screwed together, similiarily coming up from the floor and down from ceiling.

So we very confused as to how to properly install our dimmer? Assume the green (ground) needs to go to the back of the box with the copper wires, but no idea where to attach the 2 blacks?

HELP!!!
 
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Old 05-09-10, 09:52 PM
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The red wire is inserted in the top of the current switch. While 1 black is at the bottom in the quick insert, and the 2nd black wraps around the screw at the bottom (beside the 1st black wire), but it also continues over to the 3-way switch for the kitchen (into the common insert)!?
Instead of using a wire nut they used the connectors on the screw and back stab pair to connect the bottom two wires together.

take the two wires on the bottom of the switch and using a wire nut connect them to one black wire of the dimmer. The other wire on the current switch goes to the other black wire of the dimmer.

All grounds should be wire nutted together and if the box id metal a pigtail should go to the ground screw of the box.
 
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Old 05-10-10, 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted by ray2047 View Post
Instead of using a wire nut they used the connectors on the screw and back stab pair to connect the bottom two wires together.

take the two wires on the bottom of the switch and using a wire nut connect them to one black wire of the dimmer. The other wire on the current switch goes to the other black wire of the dimmer.
Hi Ray! Thanks for quick reply.

Not sure i quite follow the above - i am a novice as you can tell!

The existing switch, lets call it Switch A, has:
-1 red going into the top
-2 blacks, which as you state, are connected via the screw and back stab on bottom vs a wire nut.
But the black wrapped around the screw in Switch A comes across to the second switch, lets call it Switch B.

So if i take the 2 blacks on the bottom of the Switch A and wire nut them to one of the blacks on the dimmer, do i still ensure the black that was wrapped around the screw connects back to the Switch B? How? What about the red going into Switch A at the top? Does that attach to the second black wire on the dimmer?

Thanks!
 
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Old 05-10-10, 06:37 PM
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Yes, the red goes to one of the wires off the dimmer. The 2 blacks from the original switch connect under a wirenut to the other wire off the dimmer.

What you have is power in being spliced to power continuing out using an internal connection on the old switch.
 
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Old 05-10-10, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by pcboss View Post
Yes, the red goes to one of the wires off the dimmer. The 2 blacks from the original switch connect under a wirenut to the other wire off the dimmer.

What you have is power in being spliced to power continuing out using an internal connection on the old switch.
Hi Pcboss!

Ok,so I don't splice over the black from the dimmer to Switch B in the same junction box then?

I assumed i would have to in order to have Switch B work, as its a 3 way and i noticed in the single junction box with the other 3-way you have 2 blacks and a red going in?

Thanks!

Will try it out and here's hoping it works!
 
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Old 05-10-10, 07:12 PM
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One of the two blacks that were tied together by the switch's internal connection should be going to the second switch. Is that not true?
 
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Old 05-10-10, 07:36 PM
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Originally Posted by ray2047 View Post
One of the two blacks that were tied together by the switch's internal connection should be going to the second switch. Is that not true?
Presently 1 black is in the back stab and the other black is wrapped around the side screw beside it and then continues over to Switch B.

Hard to explain, but what they did was strip the middle section of the black wire, wrapped it around the screw, and then continued it to Switch B's 'common' stab in.

This is where i am confused about wire nutting the 2 blacks with the dimmer? Should i not also connect it back into Switch B the way it was?
 
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Old 05-10-10, 08:22 PM
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It shouldn't have been disconnected from switch B. If you did reconnect it in the same place on B.
 
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Old 05-10-10, 08:30 PM
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Originally Posted by invisigoth View Post
Presently 1 black is in the back stab and the other black is wrapped around the side screw beside it and then continues over to Switch B.

Hard to explain, but what they did was strip the middle section of the black wire, wrapped it around the screw, and then continued it to Switch B's 'common' stab in.

This is where i am confused about wire nutting the 2 blacks with the dimmer? Should i not also connect it back into Switch B the way it was?
All you need to do is take the 2 blacks. Cut the one at the loop and splice the 2 together at that point with 2 pigtails. One pig tail will go to switch B and the other pig tail will go to the dimmer switch. The blacks are a feed in and feed out. as long as they are all connected in some way, and pigtailed to the switches, everything will work.
 
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Old 05-10-10, 09:33 PM
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