Do dimmers go bad like this ?

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  #1  
Old 01-23-11, 06:17 PM
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Do dimmers go bad like this ?

The lights in my den are connected to a dimmer. Lately when the dimmer is switched on and at low lighting, the lights flicker. If I turn the dimmer up to max the flickering stops. Also after it's been on for about 10 min it remains steady and I can set it back to lower levels without flickering. Anyone else experienced this type of behaviour ? I thought it was maybe hight resistence at he dimmer so I cleaned it with contact cleaner (breaker disconnected), but it didnt make a difference. It's a failry expensive 1000w 3 way dimmer ( other switch is standard on/off ) that has worked well the past 3 years. Any thoughts ?
 
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Old 01-23-11, 06:45 PM
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Electronics go bad. Dimmers are electronic. Even a bulb burning out can harm a dimmer or the parts can fail from heat or vibration. If I had to guess a thermal fault with one of the components. Warms up problem goes away. Replacement is your best course of action.
 
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Old 01-23-11, 07:05 PM
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Are your lamps CFL's? Are they the dimmable type? Some CFL's that are marked dimmable are not very good.
 
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Old 01-23-11, 07:54 PM
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It sounds like a bad solder joint somewhere in the dimmer. Could also be a loose wirenut. A bad wago (if used) could also be the culprit.
 
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Old 01-24-11, 09:04 AM
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No CFL's, just 65W incan floods. It has just recently started, and the switch is on an outside wall, so maybe you're right about the loose wirenut ( as a result of the cold ). I'll pull it out and look it over. When I bought this dimmer a few years ago it was around $50 so I willing to give it some diy effort before I replace it. Perhaps I should resolder the joints inside ?

Has anyone replaced the triad ( or power transister) inside with good results ?
 
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Old 01-24-11, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by MikeRR View Post
Has anyone replaced the triad ( or power transister) inside with good results ?
I have a buddy who tried to recondition a few of them with limited success; something like one out of three worked for more than a couple days before burning out again. Other components in the dimmer had probably been damaged when it initially failed.
 
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Old 01-25-11, 04:07 AM
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Originally Posted by MikeRR View Post
It has just recently started, and the switch is on an outside wall ...
The symptoms say that it needs to warm up before operating normally. It's been really cold in the Northeast this past week. Wait until the weather warms up a bit before you do anything.
 
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Old 01-25-11, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Rick Johnston View Post
The symptoms say that it needs to warm up before operating normally. It's been really cold in the Northeast this past week. Wait until the weather warms up a bit before you do anything.
It was -5 up here the other day.
 
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Old 06-12-11, 09:25 AM
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As an update, I took the dimmer out and cleaned the switch ( the varible brightness control part) with some radio shack contact cleaner. It's been working great since then.
 
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Old 06-12-11, 10:14 AM
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Thanks for the update.

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