Light fixture and wall switch issue


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Old 08-12-15, 04:39 PM
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Light fixture and wall switch issue

Hi,
I've got a situation. I have two light switches: 1 box homes 3 switches in which one is an on/off and the other two dimmers (near front door) the other is located in the L-shaped living/dining room and is currently a dimmer switch connected to a chandelier (like over a dining room table). The home was built in 1978. The 3 switch box near the front door is connected with black and black connected to the next one, black and black, connected to the next one red and black. This operates the outside light (on/off), then the front door chandelier (dimmer) and then 2 more plug outlets (on/off switch) bottom plugin for my two lamps. I hooked up the new chandelier, black to black, white to white, and ground to ground (like previously). The light turned on with breaker on, but the dimmer switch over by the dining room did not turn it on or off. So I tested the wires for voltage. First of all, The wall outlet has black, white, red and copper (ground). Originally the old dimmer switch was hooked up black to black and red to black. The new switch (I suspected dimmer just died) has screws so I connected black wire to screw and red to screw. But didn't work. So tested voltage. There was no voltage on the red. My B-N-L came over and connected the black to brass screw and black wire to black screw. It works but it also turns on all the lamps..dimming the lamps. The front door switch also turns both on but will kind of knock power of the new chandelier. Weird! So the dining room switch and the front door switch are competing with the same job sort of speak. Help!
Thanks!
Heather
 
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Old 08-12-15, 04:50 PM
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My B-N-L came over and connected the black to brass screw and black wire to black screw
Is this a 3-way switch? Was the previous switch a 3-way switch?
 
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Old 08-12-15, 07:07 PM
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I hooked up the new chandelier, black to black, white to white, and ground to ground (like previously). The light turned on with breaker on, but the dimmer switch over by the dining room did not turn it on or off.
You said the light worked when you turned the breaker on.....did you mean it wouldn't dim ?
Do you have two dimmers for the same chandelier ?
 
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Old 08-13-15, 03:04 PM
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The front room switch (front door) is connected with the dining room switch but I do t want it to be. It wasn't before but whatever my BNL did created a connection between the two switches. I wish I could post a picture. FYI: Both switches do have a red wire. The switches are across the room from each other.
 
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Old 08-13-15, 03:11 PM
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We need pictures. http://www.doityourself.com/forum/li...rt-images.html

Did any of the switches have both wires inserted in the back and under the screws. I have seen what you describe when the person doing the work ignored the pairings of wires and just put them back at random.
 
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Old 08-13-15, 05:27 PM
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Ok, when I get home I'll post from my computer as I'm on my iPhone now...wish I post pics from my iPhone on the site.
 
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Old 08-13-15, 07:26 PM
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Name:  IMG_2943[1].jpg
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Size:  24.3 KB Picture of the old chandelier (I took down to hang new one). And this is the same way I attached the wires for the new chandelier. Name:  IMG_2978[1].jpg
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Size:  39.3 KB Pictures of the dining room switch as it is now. I bought a new switch incase the old one had died. This should turn the new chandelier on. The previous connection (the old dimmer) was black (from box) to black (on dimmer) and red (from box) to black (on dimmer). My BNL switched it and pulled the pushed back black and connected both black to top and bottom screw and then push the red back (capped of course).
Name:  IMG_3021 (600x450).jpg
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Size:  43.9 KB Okay here is the other switch across room. The left switc controls the outside light, the middle switch controls the front foyer chandelier (dimmer) and the right switch turns on the lamps plugged in around the room toward the dining room. The right switch also is wired with red and black on the screws. While the left and middle are black wires.
 
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Last edited by Heather Marotta; 08-13-15 at 08:58 PM.
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Old 08-14-15, 08:17 AM
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Heather, pics taken on an IPhone come out too large because of the high resolution, so they need to be resized smaller.
 
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Old 08-14-15, 09:41 AM
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Good pictures. To ask again: Did any of the switches have both wires inserted in the back and under the screws? There should be a single hot wire that goes to all the switches. It seems instead of that hot wire one switch has the power out wire from the other switch.
The front room switch (front door) is connected with the dining room switch but I do t want it to be. It wasn't before but whatever my BNL did created a connection between the two switches
Diagram below probably does not have the switches in the same order as yours but is intended to represent the basic correct and incorrect wiring.

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Note with a 3-way switch power either in or out must be on the common screw. Common is the odd colored screw, usually dark gray.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 08-14-15 at 10:24 AM.
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Old 08-15-15, 07:13 PM
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<<ray2047 Did any of the switches have both wires inserted in the back and under the screws? There should be a single hot wire that goes to all the switches. It seems instead of that hot wire one switch has the power out wire from the other switch.>>

Just to clarify, the only switch that was changed was the dining room switch. This is the switch I changed to a new dimmer as I thought that it was the new bulbs that caused the dimmer not to work. It originally had a red (from box) connected to a black wire (old dimmer) and a black (from box) connected to a black wire (old dimmer) and no ground connected.

My BNL then tested the voltage and I think the red had zero power. So he capped that and stuffed to back of box. Then he connected a black wire that had been stuffed in back of box (there is also a white wire capped and stuffed to back of box) to the top screw (brass screw) to new dimmer and black wire to bottom screw (black screw) of the new dimmer.
 
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Old 08-15-15, 07:52 PM
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My BNL then tested the voltage and I think the red had zero power.
If he used a non contact tester. The reading is no better than flipping a coin. They aren't accurate enough for real testing. Connect a regular switch exactly the way the old switch before the dimmer was connected and recap the wires that were previously not used. If it works you know how the dimmer should be connected. If you try it again and the dimmer doesn't work the dimmer is bad.
 
 

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