3-way converted to 2-single LED dimmers?

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Old 06-06-13, 02:37 PM
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How to convert 3-way to 2-single dimmers?

Hi guys, I could really use some help in my current lighting remodel. I'm not exactly sure how I should go about this. I'll say right now there's multiple pigtails in each gangbox of switches...I'll post pics of each set of switch boxes in a little bit. I would really like to get the family room bank of recessed lights done today or tomorrow, so I need to convert the 3-way near the garage door entrance to a single-pole Lutron dimmer.

I've already purchased everything, sitting in the garage and waiting to get installed!

Current and proposed (both rough and not to scale):
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I'm currently skipping out on the gimball recessed pointing at some wall art.
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Last edited by ImNoBobVila; 06-06-13 at 05:10 PM.
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Old 06-06-13, 03:39 PM
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Okay, here's the current 3-way and fan switch box. There's 3 x 2-wires and the single 3-wire. All neutrals are pigtailed.
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Old 06-06-13, 04:13 PM
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Here is the other 3-way that has the kitchen/sink light on the left switch...why are there 3 blacks going to it? FYI there are 3x 2-wires on the left side of the box.
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This is the switch I wanted to use for the under and above cabinets (after I tear out the soffit). I scored a deal on some clearance LED under cabinets at Lowes but they're plug-in, so I need to wire a duplex receptacle in a cupboard area to the the two switch. I want to go ahead and wire the top switch to a duplex receptacle for the above cabinets at the same time.

I would like to reuse the current switches there for the table and matching over-sink pendant light. So I need to install a 4-gang box at this location. I have full attic access and have already scouted around and installed simple pull-type (but not pull, tied to a switch) lamps in the attic with CFLs as I hate lugging around the burning hot halogen work light.
 
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Old 06-06-13, 09:25 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

There is so much information here I'm overwhelmed

The kitchen sink has three wires on it because someone got lazy. If you notice there are two wires at one end of the switch and one at the other end. Those two wires are the hot wires and should have been connected together and then a pigtail should have added and been brought out to the switch so that you only have two wires on the switch.

If I'm understanding this correctly you have a three way circuit. You want to put a single pole dimmer at one end. That would mean you could dim from the one end and do nothing at the other end. If that's what you want to do we'll continue.

Turn the circuit off. Go to the switch that you will no longer be using. Remove all three wires. Connect the two blacks together and wire nut off. Cap off the red wire....it wont be used. That switch will now be a dummy switch.

Go to the 3 way switch where the dimmer is going. Remove all three wires from the switch. Cap off the red wire.... it won't be used. The remaining two black wires are where you will be connecting your single pole dimmer.



Just as an aside here.....when replacing a 3 way device....always make sure the common wire is kept on the dark screw. Whatever wire comes off the odd/dark colored screw must go to the odd/dark colored screw on the new device.
 
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Old 06-07-13, 03:08 AM
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Thanks for the warm welcome and the reply PJmax, but re-reading what I hurriedly wrote earlier...I see I didn't convey what I wanted to do.

- the fan control switch is staying as it is

- the 3-way switch (next to the fan switch in the current layout) needs to be converted to a single-pole Lutron dimmer to control the bank of LED cans in the living area side of the room (I'm going to have to run a 2-wire, correct?)



- the 3-way switch by the refrigerator (left side of current drawing) needs to be converted to a single-pole switch and will control the new light fixture over the table (this is where your answer works)

- the Leviton Decora two-in-one switch needs to be ran to 2 duplex recepticales in the cupboard. the lower switch to control the undercab LED's and the upper switch to control the above cabinet (once I tear out the soffit and refinish the cabinets/doors)
(so do I just pigtail two, 2-wires in the switchbox and run them to the cupboard for the duplex receptacles?)


- the single-pole switch currently currently controlling the kitchen light/sink light will be replaced by a Lutron dimmer to control the Kitchen LED cans in the second schematic. I will simply add a junction box and re-rout the wiring from the current light (right of the oven in the first schematic)
(is this correct?)

- I'll need to run new wiring to the pendant over the sink (or just to the wire that's currently chained to the kitchen light to the right of the oven)
(is this correct?)

I'm slightly hesitant as this is my first BIG electrical project. It's my first house...an older home (late 70's/early 80's) and I've already fixed a shorted hallway dimmer that took out various lights and receptacles in bedrooms and bathrooms. While doing that I noticed most receptacles were old/original?, wired kind of shoddy (limited pigtails, wires not pre-twisted under nut- falling out, multiple wires to screws when not in the loose stab-in connectors) so I replaced most all of them...very monotonous and time consuming. I then wired the attic with lights just a few days ago and I'm ready to start with the actual improvements
 
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Old 06-07-13, 05:01 PM
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This should all be doable. You should have a complete circuit in each of your existing switch boxes, since you have at least one single-location switch in each. If not, you can use the wires in the traveler cable to take it from one to the other.

- the 3-way switch (next to the fan switch in the current layout) needs to be converted to a single-pole Lutron dimmer to control the bank of LED cans in the living area side of the room (I'm going to have to run a 2-wire, correct?)
If you mean the cable from the dimmer to the lights, you'll need 2-conductor, 3-wire cable (black, white and ground). I think that's what you meant.

- the 3-way switch by the refrigerator (left side of current drawing) needs to be converted to a single-pole switch and will control the new light fixture over the table
Your drawing shows the switch leg for the light that's there now coming from the box next to the refrigerator, so that should work.

- the Leviton Decora two-in-one switch needs to be ran to 2 duplex recepticales in the cupboard. the lower switch to control the undercab LED's and the upper switch to control the above cabinet (once I tear out the soffit and refinish the cabinets/doors)
(so do I just pigtail two, 2-wires in the switchbox and run them to the cupboard for the duplex receptacles?)
It sounds like you're saying "pigtail" when you mean "splice." A pigtail is a piece of wire about 8" long that is added to a splice of two or more conductors, usually to connect to a device.

I'm a bit puzzled by this part. Do you need more than one receptacle for either the undercabinet lights or the above cabinet lights? Could you use a piece of 3-conductor, 4-wire cable to go to one location and run 2-conductor cable from there to the other one? Also, how are you planning to have the receptacles be accessible? Will one be in a box on top of the cabinets and the other in a box under the cabinets?

- the single-pole switch currently currently controlling the kitchen light/sink light will be replaced by a Lutron dimmer to control the Kitchen LED cans in the second schematic. I will simply add a junction box and re-rout the wiring from the current light (right of the oven in the first schematic)
(is this correct?)
I don't see the oven in your as-is drawing but, so ling as you make the splices in an accessible, covered box, it should be OK.

- I'll need to run new wiring to the pendant over the sink (or just to the wire that's currently chained to the kitchen light to the right of the oven)
(is this correct?)
IDK. Is this a different question? What do you mean when you say "chained?"

I noticed most receptacles were old/original?, wired kind of shoddy (limited pigtails, wires not pre-twisted under nut- falling out, multiple wires to screws when not in the loose stab-in connectors) so I replaced most all of them...very monotonous and time consuming. I then wired the attic with lights just a few days ago...
It sounds like you've got your sea legs for wiring, or at least for terminating. Have fun!
 
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