Basic question: replacing dimmer switch

Reply

  #1  
Old 11-14-16, 07:16 PM
L
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 89
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Basic question: replacing dimmer switch

I apologize for the very basic question, but I was trying to replace a dimmer switch from this model ( https://www.1000bulbs.com/product/36...-AY600PWH.html
) to this one ( Lutron Maestro CFL/LED Multi-Location Dimmer - MACL-153M-WH ).

The old dimmer had both black wires attached directly to it, and to release I had to cut them from the unit. On the new switch, the wires do not fit if I try pushing in the back, so I tried striping them, but I noticed they are silver wires below the insulation instead of copper. Picture below.

Name:  14791797282392083130946.jpg
Views: 233
Size:  15.6 KB

Should I strip the wires regardless and hook them to the screws of the new dimmer?
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 11-14-16, 07:24 PM
L
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 89
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
This seems to be the only wire in the house that are not copper, so I was afraid to do a hook on the screw when I shouldn't
 
  #3  
Old 11-14-16, 07:54 PM
pcboss's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Maryland
Posts: 15,144
Received 83 Votes on 71 Posts
How old is the house? This will help to rule out aluminum wiring.
 
  #4  
Old 11-14-16, 08:02 PM
L
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 89
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
It is roughly 20 years old.
 
  #5  
Old 11-14-16, 08:10 PM
pcboss's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Maryland
Posts: 15,144
Received 83 Votes on 71 Posts
Way too new for aluminum or tinned copper circuit wiring.
 
  #6  
Old 11-14-16, 08:13 PM
L
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 89
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
So what takeaway should I have? I'm confused on what to do because it worked fine before, but not having any experience makes me hesitate on striping and hooking to the new dimmer switch. Thank you for your help by the way
 
  #7  
Old 11-14-16, 08:25 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,597
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
Post a picture of the house wires.
 
  #8  
Old 11-14-16, 08:29 PM
L
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 89
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Name:  14791840496421438091706.jpg
Views: 89
Size:  23.0 KB Here You Can See The Two Black Wires That Were Attached To The Old DIMMER.

Name:  1479184114851242777989.jpg
Views: 93
Size:  24.0 KB
 
  #9  
Old 11-14-16, 08:51 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,597
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
It appears they used individual conductors in flex conduit. The first obvious problem is the flex conduit is not correctly connected to the boxes. That causes me to wonder if they used the correct wire since they didn't know or didn't care what they were doing. You need to see if THHN/THWN is printed on the wires. If not and nothing else is they may not be usable. Since you have conduit you can pull the correct wire. Second you must connect the flex conduit correctly at both ends.

With bare ground wires I wonder if they may have used cable in the conduit instead of individual wires can you tell?
 
  #10  
Old 11-14-16, 08:56 PM
L
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 89
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
This is some of what I can read on the black wire. " 1032 90C 1000V OR LL38066 CSA TEW 1050". Does this make sense?
 
  #11  
Old 11-14-16, 09:04 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,597
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
This is some of what I can read on the black wire. " 1032 90C 1000V
That is appliance wire not house wire. It is tinned copper wire. I'm not sure code allows it. Certainly the way the flex conduit is installed isn't. We don't know if it is at least #14. I'd rewire from scratch. Maybe the pros will say different. Then there is bare ground but the conduit may be metal but isn't grounded.
 
  #12  
Old 11-14-16, 09:18 PM
L
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 89
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I guess I will probably get an electrician to be safe. Just for educational purpose, is tinned copper wire a fire hazard? The entire reason I decided to change the switch was that I replaced recess lighting from incandescent to LED and I noticed the lights would flicker occasionally. So I thought the dimmer was the issue, possibly not compatible with LED, but now I wonder if the wire could be blamed as well?
 
  #13  
Old 11-14-16, 09:26 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,597
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
is tinned copper wire a fire hazard?
No, but the wrong type of wire can be a code violation and wrong size if two small can be a fire hazard. As can be a plastic switch box if the conduit is metal and not using conduit clamps is a code violation. Kansas city may have special requirements too that exceed the NEC.
 
  #14  
Old 11-15-16, 08:54 AM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 58,501
Received 1,029 Votes on 955 Posts
In his picture.... he has NM-b in tubing.

You Can See The Two Black Wires That Were Attached To The Old DIMMER.
The two black wires connected to the dimmer were the tails that came factory attached to the dimmer. To disconnect the old dimmer you needed to break the connections at the wire nuts. Those black tails stay on the dimmer.
 
  #15  
Old 11-15-16, 12:34 PM
L
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 89
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thanks to all the help provided. Unfortunately I had an electrician stop by before reading the last posts which resolved my issue as PJMax listed. It was the tail of the dimmer, not the real wire coming from the wall.
 
Reply
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: