Confusion changing a dual switch to two dimmers

Old 06-03-07, 11:42 AM
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Confusion changing a dual switch to two dimmers

I'm sure this is a simple problem to fix but it's just not coming to me.

I have a dual light switch (two lights controlled by two switches in the same box) that I want to separate into two dimmer switches (I have an unused box next to this one for the 2nd dimmer). Neither of these lights are controlled from anywhere else.

The original dual switch had one white wire (the hot wire I presume) coming into the top switch, and another short white wire that ran from the top switch to the bottom switch. Then a red wire ran out from each switch (I presume these to go out to the lights themselves).

So in the box there are a total of three wires, one white and two red.

So when I went to hook up the two dimmer switches, basic logic says I can hook both of them up to the one white wire, and run the red wires to each switch individually.

The end result has been that one dimmer works fine, but the other dimmer only works if the first one is on.

I figured there must be something in the wiring configuration of the dual switch that allowed each light to work independently but I can't figure out what. I even have tried to incorporate the dual switch in the wiring sceme of the dimmers to try to re-create the affect of the dual switch on the dimmers, but no luck. Still ended up with the same problem.

Thanks for your advice.
Old 06-03-07, 02:08 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
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It is unusual that you only have a white wire and two red wires. This means the installation is not legal, at least not in the US.

You wired it wrong. Somehow you have placed the dimmers in series.

Assuming the information you have supplies to us is correct, pigtail the white wire to one wire of each dimmer. Connect the other dimmer wires to the red wires. Done.

If you still have problems, tell us ALL the wires that exist and tell us how you have wired things.,

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