Dimmer Switch Always ON

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  #1  
Old 12-17-04, 05:08 PM
pogorat
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Dimmer Switch Always ON

hiya.

1970's aluminum wired house. new copper wire leviton dimmer.
using the aluminum-to-copper tube paste and wing-nuts.

wired like so:

i've got two wires coming from main (black and white) and three that run from box to lamp (black, white, red).

hot black incoming wire to black dimmer wire.
red dimmer wire to black lamp supply wire.
white incoming straight to white lamp supply wire.
green wire from dimmer to red lamp supply wire.

when i turn the power back on, i try to toggle the switch, but power seems to be running to the lamp wires regardless.

any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
 
  #2  
Old 12-17-04, 07:28 PM
D
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Is this light part of a ceiling fan..

or a three way circuit? (More than one wall switch will turn on the light?).

I'm not sure why there would be three wires going to the ceiling box.
 
  #3  
Old 12-17-04, 08:32 PM
J
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Never connect a red wire to a grounding wire. That's a suicide attempt. And a pretty good one! Disconnect that before you even read further!

There are two main reasons (could be even more) for the red wire. One is what Desy is suggesting--a 3-way switch setup. Another is that sometimes the black is run as an unswitched hot and the red as a switched hot. The only way to tell for sure is to open up the lighting fixture box and see how things are connected there.

It would help us guess if we knew the extent of your project. Are you simply replacing a regular switch with a dimmer switch and nothing else? Or have you done anything else?
 
  #4  
Old 12-17-04, 08:34 PM
pogorat
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thanks for your reply.

i don't know if it was wired with intent of supporting a ceiling fan, but there has never been one there. i thought the third wire was just grounding- does the white neutral already do that?

it is single pole. no other switch controls that fixture.

i DID leave something out that might explain this though:
there are 3 wires going from the wallswitch to the lamp housing, but then there are 2 wires (black + white) that go on from the lamp housing to "somewhere" else.

i have no idea why these other wires are here. i isolated them and did not include them in the installation.

the bad here is that i uninstalled the old lamp and dimmer so long ago i have no idea how things were con4nected at that point.
 
  #5  
Old 12-17-04, 09:12 PM
J
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Okay, it's time to question your assumptions. You said that "i've got two wires coming from main (black and white)". How do you know where they come from?

By the way, ignoring wires because you don't understand what they are there for seldom leads to success.
 
  #6  
Old 12-18-04, 11:39 AM
pogorat
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John-

tried to reply to your question last night but looks like it didn't post.

when the breaker is on, the black and white wires at the switch housing i claim to come from the main show power on my voltage meter, while the other set of black white and red that go to the lamp housing do not.

before reading your post about not connecting the red to the ground, i pulled out the dimmer and put a regular toggle switch in there, with the red connected to the ground screw on the switch, and still ignoring those "extra" wires at the lamp housing which are undoubtedly not "extra". this installation works (shows voltage when switched oon and not when switched off).

i mistook the red wire for ground because it only seems to run from the lamp housing to the lamp switch and not back to the main.

this *is* a simple dimmer replacement, but unfortunately i removed the old one long ago so i can't compare to the old install.

i've looked around a bit online for dimmer installation but everything i've found is ridiculously straight-forward and does not seem to apply to my situtation here. perhaps i should just call someone after all. http://forum.doityourself.com/newrep...te=1&p=687864#
Frown
 
  #7  
Old 12-22-04, 09:54 AM
J
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Sorry, I went out of town for a few days.

Post back if you're still with us and still need help.
 
 

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