Dimmer Switch overheating

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Old 05-26-11, 01:45 PM
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Dimmer Switch overheating

I recently installed a 1000w dimmer switch and it get so hot (125 deg) that it burns to the touch. I broke off all side tabs and according to the manufacture that will reduce the wattage to 650w. The switch controls (9) 65w bulbs (total wattage 585w). I am at 90% of the manufactures recommended wattage and the switch reaches 125 deg after an hour and half; which was a temp increase of 59deg.
I believe that the switch is faulty, but at $40 a switch I do not want to go and buy a new one and still have the same problem. Any input would be great. Thanks
 
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Old 05-26-11, 02:40 PM
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I broke off all side tabs
You might want to install a larger box so you won't need to break off the tabs. The fact the box is that small may be contributing to your heat problem. Are there other dimmers in the box?
 
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Old 05-26-11, 03:00 PM
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Why did you break off the tabs?

This is from the Lutron website.

Why do dimmers get warm, and is this safe?
The technical explanation: During normal operation, solid-state dimmers generate heat. A solid-state dimmer is roughly 98% efficient 2% of the power is dissipated as heat, which causes the dimmer to feel warm to the touch. The closer a dimmer is run to full output and the higher the load (watts) on the dimmer, the warmer it will feel.

This is perfectly normal and safe. Lutron dimmers are designed to the strictest UL safety standard, and can handle their full rated load (a 600 W dimmer can handle a full 600 W of power* without overheating.
[SIZE=1]*Dimmers that are ganged together in a common wallbox may need to be derated. [/SIZE]
 
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Old 05-27-11, 06:36 AM
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A rep told us once that 50 degrees above ambient temperature is normal.
 
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Old 05-27-11, 08:41 AM
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I broke off the tabs because there is another dimmer and switch in the box also. The back of the box is exposed in the utility room on the other side of the wall.
 
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Old 05-27-11, 09:53 AM
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I broke off the tabs because there is another dimmer and switch in the box also.
The other dimmer is contributing to your problem. If this is a 2 gang box you might try installing a 3 gang box so you can install a dimer without removing the cooling fins.
 
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Old 06-04-11, 06:57 AM
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I would think that the switch running the in 1000w position to provide 585w would run cooler than having it it run nearly full out in the 600W position. I generally try not to exceed 80% of max rating.

Maybe a test can be unscrew a handful of bulbs and see if it still gets that hot, if so could point to a defect in the dimmer ?

Is it possible to swap out your bulbs with the cfl type, it'll greatly reduce your wattage and maybe cool things down.
 
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Old 06-04-11, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by MikeRR View Post
Is it possible to swap out your bulbs with the cfl type, it'll greatly reduce your wattage and maybe cool things down.
Only if they are dimmable type CFL's.
 
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