Dimmer install question with a twist

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Old 11-29-17, 06:56 PM
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Dimmer install question with a twist

Hi,

We have single pole double toggle switch in the livingroom. The top switch controls the ceiling light and we thought that the bottom switch had no function. So my idea was to install a dimmer switch for the light and leave the bottom wire disconnected. Which worked great until we discovered that the bottom switch controls power to one of the outlets. So now where are back to where we started with the 2 toggles and no dimmer.

Is there a way to bypass that bottom wire leaving power to the outlet and reinstall the dimmer?

Thanks
David
 
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Old 11-29-17, 08:10 PM
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That dimmer should have three wires on it. A feed to the switch and switched hots to the receptacle and one to the fixture. You would splice the receptacle wire to the constant hot. A pigtail for the constant hot would also feed the dimmer.
 
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Old 11-29-17, 08:27 PM
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Thanks, pcboss, unfortunately, I don't really understand anything other than the fact that I can splice one of the wires.

The new dimmer switch has:
1) A green grounding wire that I didn't use. Our building is older and there was no grounding wire attached to the original switch.
2) A red and white wire that I didn't use the first time I installed it
3) Black wire
4) Red wire

Coming out of the wall there are:
1) Two red wires one for the top toggle (light) and bottom toggle (wall outlet).
2) One black wire which runs back to the wall. The insulation is stripped in the middle which is how it connected to the left side of the original switch. To install the dimmer I wrapped the dimmers black wire around that part and wrapped it with electrical tape.
 
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Old 11-29-17, 09:10 PM
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The connection needs to be made with a wire nut. Wrapping it around and wrapping with tape doesn't cut it.

The wire stripped in the middle is the constant hot.
 
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Old 11-30-17, 07:28 AM
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Ok, so I can connect the red wire from the wall (for the outlet) to the black wire and the outlet will always be on?

Then just install the dimmer as I did the first time.

I will look for a wire nut that can connect to the middle of the wire.

Thanks
David
 
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Old 11-30-17, 09:43 AM
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I will look for a wire nut that can connect to the middle of the wire.
You don't connect in the middle. You connect at the end.
 
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Old 11-30-17, 03:45 PM
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I will look for a wire nut that can connect to the middle of the wire.
There is no such a thing.

One black wire which runs back to the wall.
Are you saying black wire comes out of the wall and goes back in ? It is usually not done like that, but if it is, you probably have a conduit with THHN wires inside.
Cut the wire where insulation is peeled and strip insulation to expose enough copper, then connect wire running down to the switch and wire from the dimmer together with a wire nut.

If you have metal junction box, your junction box may be grounded. If you have a conduit, it is very likely case. Connect green wire to the junction box. Check if there is a hole for grounding screw inside junction box. If there is one, install a wire with grounding screw then connect that wire to your green wire. You may also be able to use a grounding clip depending on type of junction box used.
 
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Old 11-30-17, 04:19 PM
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No.... not conduit.. The hot wire has a bare spot in the middle because it was attached to one screw terminal and then looped over to a second screw terminal. Cut the wire at the first bare spot.... so that the bare end is no longer hanging on.
 
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Old 11-30-17, 07:48 PM
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The hot wire has a bare spot in the middle because it was attached to one screw terminal and then looped over to a second screw terminal.
That is what I would expect in 2 gang box with 2 switches, but the op says it runs back to the wall and also double switches have a tab on hot side connecting both top and bottom switches, thus jumper is not required.
 
 

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