Trouble installing dimmer switch for ceiling light/fan


Old 04-01-07, 07:28 PM
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Angry Trouble installing dimmer switch for ceiling light/fan

We have a Hunter brand ceiling fan/light fixture in the dining room. The left-side "on-off" switch of a dual wall-fixture controls the power to the fan/light. There is a remote control that turns the light on & off, and the remote solely controls the ceiling fan, in addition to turning the light on & off provided the switch was "on." No other wall fixture controlled the fan/light. I am a novice re: anything eletrical-related (which will become apparent upon reading below), but thought that installing the dimmer seemed easy enough. Even now, I'm not sure where things when wrong.

The plan was to try and install a dimmer switch. The fan/light contains two 60-watt bulbs & I purchased a Lutron Skylark "S-600H-WH" single pole dimmer from Hope Depot. The right side of the dual wall fixture houses the exact same Lutron model dimmer which controls two small lights on a kitchen pot-rack.

After switching the power off to the dining room from the circuit breaker box, I removed the existing "on/off" switch. It had two side screws that secured one red wire and one black wire. The existing pot-rack dimmer switch contained a green wire that was "capped" along with both copper grounding wires. Additionally, one black wire was capped with a black wire and one black wire was capped with a red wire. I have provided a link to a picture of the wiring below this paragraph. The picture shows the right-side pot-rack wiring which I temporarily connected to a non-dimmer switch--I pulled it to the left to take the picture of the ceiling fan/light wiring. The two copper grounding wires are visible as well as the red & black wires. I do no know what the two tan wires capped by the red plastic (background) are [maybe I should??!!].

When installing the Lutron dimmer, I simply capped the green wire with one of the copper wires, which I removed from the other dimmer's connection (it had its green capped to both copper wires). I then capped one black to the back wire and one black to the red wire. I restored the power, and the new dimmer switch did not function at all. I turned the switch all the way on in addition to trying to use the remote. Neither the light nor fan worked.

Eventually, I attempted to install the original on/off switch that controlled the fan/light. To my dismay, this no longer worked. Additionally, a quandrant of the house now has no power whatsoever, although all switches on the circuit breaker appear normal.

Basically, I could not install the new dimmer and I cannot get the original switch to work again. The right-side switch that controls the kitchen pot-rack lights works fine, whether using the on/off switch or the dimmer. I also tested the new Lutron dimmer with the pot-rack lights and it works fine. I have no clue why anything I did would result in no power for an entirely different section of the condo (wall opposite dining room and den). Before getting home warranty in to take a look, I thought I'd see if anybody had any helpful insight.

Thanks for reading this any any help you can provide--Kevin
Old 04-01-07, 07:43 PM
Join Date: Sep 2000
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If you reconnect everything as it was before, it should of course work as it did before. The only explanation is that you did not in fact get it exactly as it was before. Double-check all your work.

By the way, if you had succeeded, you would have ruined the fan motor. You cannot control the power to a motor with a lighting dimmer without destroying the motor.
Old 04-01-07, 07:52 PM
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Just for kicks, do the rest of the lights work when you turn the pot rack lights on? Possibly wired the hot leg splice through the switch!

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