Replacing a dimmer switch

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Old 12-01-13, 09:15 AM
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Replacing a dimmer switch

I am trying to replace a dimmer switch with a new one. There are 4 sets of wires coming out of the wall (white, copper, and 2 sets of black- one single black wire and one set of 3 black wires). The new dimmer switch has 2 wires- one green and one black. I've connected the green to the copper, and tried connecting the black to each set of black wires coming out of the wall, with no success. I did zap myself once when I forgot to turn the power back off, so I know there's power there somewhere. Any ideas what I'm doing wrong? Thanks!
 
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Old 12-01-13, 09:44 AM
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Welcome to the forums.

A dimmer cannot have less than two wires and a green ground wire on it.
Are you sure the dimmer doesn't have two black wires and a green wire ?
 
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Old 12-01-13, 10:08 AM
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Yes, it has 2 black wires, sorry if that wasn't clear. Should I be connecting each black wire to each set of black wires coming out of the wall?
 
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Old 12-01-13, 10:19 AM
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How was the old switch connected. This should be connected to the same two wires regardless of color. (Ground ignored because not relevant.)

Should I be connecting each black wire to each set of black wires
No. One black wire is probably power in and it and two other black wires should be connected to one dimmer wire. The fourth wire goes to the light and should go to the other dimmer lead.

There are 4 sets of wires coming out of the wall
I read that as four cables. But you confuse me a bit with:
2 sets of black- one single black wire and one set of 3 black wiresX
If you have four cables each with a black and white wire (grounds not relevant) read on.

One of those cable is power in. You determine which by disconnecting each cable and reading the voltage between the black and white wire using a multimeter or test light but not a non contact tester.

When the power in cable is found reconnect all whites to each other and place in the back of the box.

Touch each of the three not hot blacks to the hot black till you find the one that lights the light. That goes to one side of the dimer the remaining blacks including the hot go to the other side of the dimmer.
 
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Old 12-01-13, 12:07 PM
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Thank you everyone! I realized I needed to connect each black wire to the 2 sets of black wires coming from the wall. I had them both connected to one before. Got it to work Thanks!!
 
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Old 12-01-13, 12:31 PM
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Glad you got it. Thanks for letting us know.
 
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