Help! So Confused! Installing Single Pole Dimmer to a multi location

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  #1  
Old 03-18-14, 08:04 AM
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Exclamation Help! So Confused! Installing Single Pole Dimmer to a multi location

I have been trying to install a new dimmer switch to a chandelier I placed in the dining room. I have been able to successfully connect the dimmer and get it working BUT now the lights in the Kitchen will not turn on unless the dimmer is turned on in the dining room. Obviously the power source for both rooms must be running from the wiring in the dining room. I cannot figure out how to install the dimmer switch correctly to allow the kitchen lights to work normally. I have attached a photo of the wiring in my home. 3 black wires, 3 bundled ground copper wires, and 3 bundled white wires. I'm not sure what the 3 bundled white wires are. Is this something I have to add a pigtail switch to?

I know the 3 copper wires are the ground - which I connect the green dimmer wire to. The rest is a mystery.

Thanks for ANY help!
Dimmer I'm using Leviton IllumaTech 150 Watt Single Pole and 3-Way Incandescent-CFL-LED Slide Dimmer - White-R50-IPL06-10M at The Home Depot

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Last edited by Sarah Beth; 03-18-14 at 08:21 AM.
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  #2  
Old 03-18-14, 09:23 AM
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That is a 3-way dimmer but you are using it as a single location switch. If the dimmer has three wires two are probably the same color and one is a different color. You will put a wire nut on one of the the two same colored wires and not use it. Only lthe other two wires will be used. Example: If you have two black and one red from the dimer you will use only one black and the red.

You apparently disconnected a splice when you removed the old switch. I'm guessing one of those wires was back stabbed. That back stab and the wire on the screw corresponding to that back stab must both be connected to one wire of your switch and the remaining wire to the other wire of your switch.

If you don't know which is hot you can use a multimeter, but not a non contact tester, to measure between each black wire and the neutral bundle (white). Then connect each of the other two back wires one at a time the one that doesn't light the chandelier is conected along wirth the hot to one side of the switch and the remaining wire to the other wire of the switch.

If no multimeter just mark the black wires 1,2. 3. Connect 2 to 1 does one of the two lights light? Write down which one. Now try 3 to one and write down the results. Continue till you find two wires that connected together that do not power either light. The remaining wire is your hot. Mark it as hot.

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Note: Some 3-way dimmers may not work as single location dimmers. Check the instructions that came with your dimmer.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 03-18-14 at 10:00 AM.
  #3  
Old 03-18-14, 09:54 AM
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The wiring sounds like power in, power out and the wiring to the switch. You have the power out wire on the wrong side of the dimmer. Identify the constant hot power, then figure out which wire goes to the fixture.
 
  #4  
Old 03-18-14, 01:48 PM
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multimeter

ok, so this is what I borrowed from work. Will this work and is there anything specific I should be aware of, besides the fact I should just call an electrician! Name:  photo.jpg
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Old 03-18-14, 02:00 PM
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You have three black wires coming out of the wall. One is hot, one goes to the chandelier and the other one goes to the kitchen.

Touch the black meter lead to the bare copper wires. Set meter to AC scale just over 120vac. Touch red probe to one wire at a time. The hot wire will show 120vac. Mark that as hot. Remove the meter leads. Connect the hot wire to either of the other two black wires. Either the chandelier will light or the kitchen will work. The one that makes the kitchen work and the always hot wire get connected together.

That leaves you two connections for your dimmer.
 
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Old 03-18-14, 02:04 PM
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that makes sense, I'll try it out! Thank you!
 
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Old 03-18-14, 02:50 PM
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question

better safe than sorry since i don't have a manual on this thing. but should the breaker be ON or OFF when I use the multimeter? I know it's a stupid question but i want to confirm it before I kill myself.
 
  #8  
Old 03-18-14, 02:54 PM
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The breaker needs to be on when you check for power. Always turn the power off when making any connections.
 
  #9  
Old 03-19-14, 06:35 AM
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thank you!

looks like I didn't end up needing the multimeter. Once I felt safe enough to leave the breaker on, the volt tester I had worked fine. I found the hot wire and figured out the right combo! Thanks for the input. Final result below for those interested! Name:  photo1.jpg
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  #10  
Old 03-19-14, 06:53 AM
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Excellent! Thanks for showing us the outcome.
 
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