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dimmerswitch crisis, treating a white wire like a black wire??

dimmerswitch crisis, treating a white wire like a black wire??


Old 02-14-11, 12:27 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: USA
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dimmerswitch crisis, treating a white wire like a black wire??

Obviously I am a novice at best when it comes to electrical, unfortunatly i don't even know if i have my terms right, so i have tried to briefly outline what i did. Had the main power been fed to the switch, then to the lights i would have had no problem, but the previous owner had it running into a chandelier and then split it off two ways, one to the light switch, AND one to a sunroom (whole other room). Plese, please let there be someone out there that can make sense of this for me!!

here goes, this is what we did:

We put in 4 high hat lights in the dining room.
Took out the chandelier.
Cut what we thought was the line to the dimmer switch away from the chandelier and ran it to the high hats.

Flip the circuit breaker and the lights go on, they look beautiful, but the dimmer switch does not work. The only way to turn them off is to cut the power completely, crap!

We think we ran the main feed directly into the lights, oops, our bad, so we switch it out for the other wire. Now there is no power to the lights, also none to the outlet on the far wall of the room or the sunroom. We have somehow cut power to two circuits.

It looks like (as i mentioned) the previous owners ran the main power to the chandelier then split it off, one to the dimmer switch, one to the outlet/sunroom.

So now, in the attic we are thinking we will put in a junction box, with the main power line, the wire to the outlet/sunroom, and the wire to the high hats.

What we can�t figure out is how to hook the dimmer switch to the high hats.

A friend told us to run the white wire from the dimmer up as though it was another black wire I don't know what he means though.

Can anyone explain??? Please, anyone??

Last edited by mkolo; 02-14-11 at 01:57 PM.
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Old 02-14-11, 12:43 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 6,280

Do you have 4 cables coming into the ceiling box, each one having a black wire, a white wire, and a ground wire?

If so, you will need to identify which cable is supplying the power.
Old 02-14-11, 02:03 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 2
We know which one is supplying the power, we also know which goes to the outlet/sunroom, the third, which was previously split off of the chandelier is attached to the dimmer in the wall and no longer attached to anyhthing in the attic. How do we attach that third wire, the one that is attached to the dimmer, to the highhats and then the highhats into a junction box? It's probably a super simple fix, some kind of spliter or cap. Any thoughts at all would be very much appreicated!!
Old 02-14-11, 02:18 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 32,667
You had a switch loop. At the first celing box:

White of the cable to the switch is remarked black at both ends and connected to the black of the power cable and black of the cable to the next room.

Black of the switch cable goes to the black of the light and black of cable to next light.

Whites from the light, white from cable to next light, the power cable, and cable to other room are wire nutted together.

All grounds tied together and pigtailed to the box if metal.

At the switch black and remarked black to the dimmer.

Above is based on you originally having three 2-conductor cables at the ceiling, One always hot, one to other room., one to the switch. That you added a fourth cable to the next light.

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