Help deciphering odd wiring from old dimmer

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Old 03-08-13, 08:00 AM
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Help deciphering odd wiring from old dimmer

This is an odd arangement that I need help figuring out.

Ive swapped the majority of my incandescent bulbs with CFL bulbs, as well as all existing incandescent dimmers to CFL dimmers without incident. Out of the entire house, all are changed with exception of one.
It happens to be a dimmer that stopped working before the change to CFL lightbulbs, but the (old dimmer to be replaced) is a Levition TGI06 incandescent 600W dimmer. The dimmer that is the replacement is a Lutron TGCL-153PH-WH, with common screw, and two matching brass screws. For the single pole application, (same 3 gang box), line120v went to the dark screw, and load went to screw directly across to opposite screw, and dimmer works flawlessly. To match this up with what dimmer was replaced, the Lev TGI06 was using black wire to line, blue wire to load, and obv green to ground with red capped off.

The problem is, the dimmer I am having issues with (the old broken dimmer) was using all 3 wires for some reason, but Ive only used it as a single pole dimmer before it stopped working. (House is a new purchase, previous owner knows nothing about the house.) There are two other switches in this great room, that have been unused, one appears to be a 3 way switch, other appears to be a 4 way switch, but ive never touched them, and now that the old dimmer is broken, I cannot cross check their relationship to bad dimmer. (I can remove dimmer, and test voltage while switching) but the odd part is, even if this dimmer was being used as a 3way or 4 way, the dimmer would be receiving the 120v from the 3way (if 3way setup), and from the 4way (if a 4way setup).....The old dimmer black wire was connected directly to 120v, yet both the red and blue wires are also each connected to a wire.

Was this old dimmer just wired incorrectly, or in a way to disregard the 3way and 4way?


Probably my best bet is just to remove it, and test voltage of used wires, unless somebody has any other suggestions?

Thank you in advance, and sorry about the poorly written and confusion post.
 
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Last edited by AVInstaller; 03-08-13 at 08:02 AM. Reason: clarify some wording
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Old 03-08-13, 08:09 AM
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The old switch might be part of the 3 way switching arrangement. You were just using only the one end of the switching.

Look to see which wire is labeled common on the old Leviton switch and move it to the odd colored screw on the dimmer.
 
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Old 03-08-13, 08:27 AM
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Unfortunately, nothing was previously labeled in this setup. From the wiring diagram of the old dimmer I am replacing, it only shows the line120 coming into the common screw of the (3 way non-dimming switch), and then continuing onto the old Leviton dimmer that receives the 120v from the 3way switch. That is the odd part, the old Leviton dimmer is directly receiving 120v, so are you saying that the dimmer is just taking place as the first switch in the diagram, and then the 3way is receiving 120v from the dimmer?.....In that case, the black wire of the old dimmer is the common, and the red and the blues are travelers?
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Last edited by AVInstaller; 03-08-13 at 08:37 AM. Reason: clarifying
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Old 03-08-13, 09:14 AM
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The power could be at either end of the switching circuit.

Three ways can be wired in several different ways. In the diagram above the dimmer could be in either position.
 
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Old 03-08-13, 09:29 AM
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Great, thanks pcboss.

Considering it worked fine for at least 5 years, and was directly connected to the 120v with dimmers black wire, I'll try the new dimmer with same config, black screw common receives 120v,and red and blue wires as travelers..... As I remember both travelers are safe in either leftover brass screws of new dimmer, is that correct?
 
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Old 03-08-13, 09:42 AM
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Travelers will work on either screw.
 
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Old 03-08-13, 03:20 PM
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The installation instructions for a Leviton TGI06-10I say that it can be used for "Single Pole (One location) or 3-Way (Multi-location)." It may have been wired to work with the other switches in the room. It may have been intended to work with the other switches and not have been wired properly.

I'll try the new dimmer with same config, black screw common receives 120v,and red and blue wires as travelers...
That may work. OTOH, the new switch may not work with the others because it is made by Lutron. I didn't see anything that indicated "smart" dimming, though.
 
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Old 03-08-13, 03:34 PM
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I think the old dimmer is being replaced, not in conjunction with.
 
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