Slight hum from dual dimmer switch


Old 07-06-07, 09:31 AM
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Slight hum from dual dimmer switch

I live in a old condo, built in the 20s, that was rehabbed around 1999. Unfortunately the rehabbers didn't update a lot of the wiring or any of the junction fact there are no ceiling junction boxes. Basically in each ceiling fixture there is a heavy metal plate with three to four heavy metal conduit pipes that house all the wires. This plate, along with the pipe's screw on end caps sits almost flush with the ceiling.

Anyway, I am trying to prep my place to sell and swapping out all the outdated lighting fixtures which is proving to be one hell of a job.

In my dining room I have a dual dimmer switch that controls the chandelier and two wall sconces. There has always been a slight hum coming from the switch. Nothing loud, just noticeable when you walk by it. Is this a problem? Bad switch? Bad connection?

Also, does anyone have any online shopping suggestions for older light mounting hardware (or if you know of any decent stores in the Chicago area)? Combining old with new, I'm finding, is near impossible.
Old 07-06-07, 03:43 PM
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Noisy dimmers

Dimmer switches work by cutting out sections of the current flow. So, instead of getting a smooth sine wave representing your AC current, you get something that stops and starts abruptly. Sort of like turning the lights on and off very quickly. This creates a noise from the dimmer. Better dimmers include a choke which softens the on/off sequences and reduces and/ or eliniminates the noise. So, basically I'm saying go out and buy a quality dimmer. Lutron is probably your best bet. They are sold everywhere.
Good luck

Last edited by DIYaddict; 07-06-07 at 05:10 PM. Reason: Removed web link that is not allowed/Please read the rules
Old 07-06-07, 08:53 PM
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Oftentimes, what seems like a hum coming from the dimmer switch is really a hum coming from the bulbs. Double-check to see if this might be true. If so, changing brands of bulbs often fixes it.

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