Installing a dimmer light switch

Reply

  #1  
Old 01-07-18, 02:46 PM
R
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: United States
Posts: 13
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Installing a dimmer light switch

Hi guys,

I have a question that is elementary for you guys, but not for me. I have been going around my house replacing outlets and light switches with new ones, either to freshen up the look of the outlet or replace almond colored outlets with white ones. I have already replaced quite a few and it just involves taking the wires off the old ones and putting them in the exact place on the new outlet.

Now I have a little bit more of a complicated situation. In one of the bedrooms in my house, I have two light switches that are side by side next to each other.

One switch turns the ceiling light on and off. The other switch turns a lamp that is plugged into an outlet on and off. Both switches are gray colored and the new switches are white. I want to replace the ceiling light with a dimmer and the lamp switch with the same identical switch, but white instead of gray.

The current ceiling switch light has two black wires on the right side. The black wire on the top comes from the wall and the black wire on the bottom connects to the lamp switch

The current lamp switch has a red wire coming from the wall on the right top, black wire coming from the wall on the right bottom, a gold wire coming from the wall connected to the left side on the top. It also has the black wire coming from the ceiling light switch that is also on the bottom right side.

Behind both switches coming from the wall, there are two white wires twisted together and a gold wire.

I have attached pictures below.

So, how, which of the existing wires coming from the wall connect to the new dimmer switch? I tried reading the instructions that came with the switch, but it only confused me more.

The dimmer is Lutron brand. It has red, green, and red/white wires sticking out the back plus a green wire sticking off to the side.

Thank you for all of your help!

Name:  r1.jpg
Views: 113
Size:  66.2 KB

Name:  r2.jpg
Views: 166
Size:  75.6 KB

Name:  r3.jpg
Views: 130
Size:  65.5 KB
 

Last edited by PJmax; 01-07-18 at 04:42 PM. Reason: reoriented pictures
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 01-07-18, 02:50 PM
R
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: United States
Posts: 13
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Apologies that the pictures come up sideways. I don't know why and if I can fix that, please let me know how to do so. Thank you.
 
  #3  
Old 01-07-18, 04:51 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 56,321
Received 736 Votes on 691 Posts
Pictures look fine here. Better than the originals.

That bare wire is copper and is the ground.

The black wire that goes to both switches is the hot wire. It supplies both switches with live power. It wraps around one switch screw and goes to second switch. Cut that short piece off. Add a piece of black wire to the existing wire to reach the new switch. Add the black wire from the dimmer to this splice.

For the right switch that will become the Lutron dimmer.
The black wire all by itself goes to dimmer red.
The black wire that goes to both switches will go to black.
The red/white wire gets capped off.
The green connects to the bare copper.

For the regular switch. The single black wire goes to one screw. The other screw gets connected to the always live splice.
 
  #4  
Old 01-07-18, 08:34 PM
R
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: United States
Posts: 13
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Hi, thank you for the kind response. I am a little confused, so please bear with me.

"The green connects to the bare copper." Which bare copper? The one that is currently connected to the left side of the ceiling switch?

Also, regarding this paragraph: "The black wire that goes to both switches is the hot wire. It supplies both switches with live power. It wraps around one switch screw and goes to second switch. Cut that short piece off. Add a piece of black wire to the existing wire to reach the new switch. Add the black wire from the dimmer to this splice."

The black wire you're referring to comes from the wall, which splits into 2 wires, one that goes to each switch. I get that part.

"Cut that short piece" off. Are you referencing the small black wire that is connecting one switch to the other?

"Add a piece of black wire to the existing wire to reach the new switch. Add the black wire from the dimmer to this splice." Can you be a little more specific?

Thank you for your help. I am not an electrician and I'm new to this, so I do appreciate you dumbing it down for me a bit more.
 
  #5  
Old 01-07-18, 09:46 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 56,321
Received 736 Votes on 691 Posts
Yes..... green is ground. Bare copper is also ground.

Yes.... cut the black jumper off. You need to make a splice with that black wire. You need to splice a new longer piece (6") that will go from the new splice to the switch. The piece you cut off is too short to use now.
 
  #6  
Old 01-08-18, 07:20 AM
R
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: United States
Posts: 13
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Which black wire needs to be made longer? The jumper connecting the two light switches?
 
  #7  
Old 01-08-18, 07:52 AM
pcboss's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Maryland
Posts: 15,079
Received 62 Votes on 54 Posts
The power would be extended to feed both switches.
 
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: