Light Switch Conundrum


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Old 05-21-17, 10:40 PM
J
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Light Switch Conundrum

Hi all, was wondering someone could help me out here. I'm a a novice when it comes to electric wiring so bear with me.

I was replacing all my single pole light switches to a dimmer throughout my condo and then I ran into trouble with my last one...

The original light switch had 2 wires, an orange and a red one with no ground wire. The dimmer I was replacing with has 3 wires, a red, black, and green. After uncoiling the old switch, I connected the dimmer's black with the orange, red with red, and ground to the electrical box's screwed ground wire. Turn on the breaker and dimmer but my ceiling lights won't turn on.

Thought I had the wires in reverse so I flipped the wiring the setup. I connected the dimmer's black with the red wire, and the red with the orange wire, leaving the ground as is but still nothing.

I concluded that the dimmer was a bust. So I disconnected the dimmer, and reconnected the original light switch and wired in it's initial configuration: orange to orange and black to black) but I had no success in getting my lights on...

Been googling and scratching my head for a few hours... can anyone take a guess as to what the problem may be...?
 
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Old 05-22-17, 12:24 AM
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Welcome to the forums.

With two wire dimmers there usually isn't a connection direction.

Your next step is to temporarily connect the red and orange together.
If that doesn't work... have you replaced the bulb with a known* good one ?

*(a bulb tested now.... before putting in the light)

If that doesn't work you will need a voltage tester or meter to check for 120vac from orange to ground wire or box and from red to ground or box.
 
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Old 05-22-17, 09:17 AM
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Thanks for the reply and warm welcome!

I forgot to mention in my earlier post that I did do a light bulb test. The bulbs are definitely fine because all 3 works with my kitchen's ceiling light - it's the same ceiling light fixture and the kitchen one uses new dimmer switch).

I also did what you suggest, connecting the orange with the red but nothing...

I don't have a voltage meter but I'll grab one tomorrow since today is a public holiday. Is there anything I should also grab for the next next step?
 
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Old 05-22-17, 12:53 PM
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Get a cheap ($8-$15) analog multimeter not a digital multimeter. Cheap digitals can give confusing readings due to induced voltages.
 
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Old 05-23-17, 07:46 PM
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Thanks Ray!

Figure out what was the problem, the ceiling light wires were connecting properly . I re-capped and re-taped the wires, everything is working a-ok.

Sometime double check is just not enough.
 
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Old 05-23-17, 08:12 PM
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In your original post..... you said changed single pole light switches to dimmers.
You left the part out about messing with the light fixtures.
 
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Old 05-23-17, 11:41 PM
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I re-capped and re-taped the wires
There is no reason to use tape when making a connection.
 
 

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