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Thread: Electrical help/advice needed

  1. #1
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    Default Electrical help/advice needed

    My living room lights can be controlled on/off by two switches in my house.

    On the weekend, I tried installing a dimmer switch in one of the switch locations and now they aren't working properly. The switch that I didn't replace can turn the lights on/off just fine. The dimmer switch which I've replaced only turns the lights on/off if the other switch is in a certain position. The dimming function itself works fine. Does anyone know what I need to do to make this work properly?

    I've tried multiple wiring scenarios to no success. Do I need to check the wiring on the other switch as well? I assumed I didn't considering it worked fine before.The new dimmer is a 3-way switch and the other switch is too.

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    Not sure I completely understand, but it sounds like its wired into the common line as opposed to the traveler screws.

    Might want to check the other switch to make sure its wired correctly, seen a fair amount that aren't done properly in the past.


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    You to to go back to home Depot and buy a 2 pack of 3 way dimmers. One will be the master and the other the slave. Hook it up, according to the drawing you will receive in the box.

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    Originally posted by danno
    You to to go back to home Depot and buy a 2 pack of 3 way dimmers. One will be the master and the other the slave. Hook it up, according to the drawing you will receive in the box.
    This exactly. The three way switch is a B to install.

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    Originally posted by danno
    You to to go back to home Depot and buy a 2 pack of 3 way dimmers. One will be the master and the other the slave. Hook it up, according to the drawing you will receive in the box.
    Bingo, bango, this is the answer.
    Originally posted by Arash Boodagh
    Before I start pwning all the members with my findings.
    Originally posted by Arash Boodagh
    Plus, is it true you can feed a pig elephant dong and it will still grow and build meat?
    Originally posted by Toma
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    Originally posted by danno
    You to to go back to home Depot and buy a 2 pack of 3 way dimmers. One will be the master and the other the slave. Hook it up, according to the drawing you will receive in the box.
    I don't understand why I would need a 2 pack of the 3-way dimmers. The dimmer I've purchased is 3-way and the other switch is 3-way as well. Shouldn't that work just fine?

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    Originally posted by Speed_69


    I don't understand why I would need a 2 pack of the 3-way dimmers. The dimmer I've purchased is 3-way and the other switch is 3-way as well. Shouldn't that work just fine?
    If they are all 3-way switches it should work fine just one side won't have dimmer control. It's either miswired or not a 3-way switch.

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    ^agreed. Last time I replaced a 3-way switch I ended up with the same scenario and it was my screw up on the wiring in one switch.

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    Originally posted by mazdavirgin


    If they are all 3-way switches it should work fine just one side won't have dimmer control. It's either miswired or not a 3-way switch.
    Yeah the wiring in the switch I didn't touch must not be correct.
    What's odd though is that they both worked fine before I decided to switch one of them to a dimmer but that would tell me that both switches that were already in are 3-way.

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    My 3 way lights were wired wrong when we moved into our house. Same thing, installed wrong dimmer switches
    Machining, Fabricating, Welding etc.

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    Originally posted by Speed_69
    I don't understand why I would need a 2 pack of the 3-way dimmers. The dimmer I've purchased is 3-way and the other switch is 3-way as well. Shouldn't that work just fine?
    Depends on how the dimmer operates. Many modern dimmers use electronics to achieve the "dimming". This is why danno mentioned master and slave, the two switches of 3way "talk" to each other. If the 3 way cct worked fine before and doesn't now your options are either you wired it incorrectly or the dimmer is not compatible with what your doing. Your best bet is to yank out the dimmer you installed, return it, pickup a proper set of dimmer switches and replace both switches in the 3way cct. You'll have the added bonus of being able to dim from both locations. Or you can find an old school rheostat style dimmer and put that in instead and be able to only dim from one location.
    Originally posted by Arash Boodagh
    Before I start pwning all the members with my findings.
    Originally posted by Arash Boodagh
    Plus, is it true you can feed a pig elephant dong and it will still grow and build meat?
    Originally posted by Toma
    rx7_turbfoags best friend
    Toma the homophobe?

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    Does the dimmer you bought have a separate on/off switch as well as the dimmer control? It sounds like you just bought the wrong type of switch. You need one that is made for multi-location purposes. The 2 switch 3 pole setups work by swapping power line to line. So you need the switch component to swap power to the correct line before allowing the dimmer to work.
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    Originally posted by dj_honda
    Does the dimmer you bought have a separate on/off switch as well as the dimmer control? It sounds like you just bought the wrong type of switch. You need one that is made for multi-location purposes. The 2 switch 3 pole setups work by swapping power line to line. So you need the switch component to swap power to the correct line before allowing the dimmer to work.
    The dimmer has a separate on/off switch and dimmer control. As stated before, the switch is 3-way, which means it's made for multi-location.

    The dimmer I purchased is the one selling at Costco right now in a 2 pack. I used one of them for my bedroom (which works fine) and would like to use the other one for my living room. I know other people on forums have used this dimmer and it works fine with their setup.

    As you can see in the bottom right of the packaging, it should work fine with one 3-way dimmer and one 3-way switch.

    Last edited by Speed_69; 10-05-2016 at 04:42 PM.

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    Feitelectric? I can't even find switches listed on their own website, am I blind?

    So, again not all dimmers are created equal, however if you trust the diagram it should be able to do what you're attempting. If I was showing up at your house for a service call here's how I would tackle the job.

    Was the 3 way cct working properly from both locations before you swapped the switch? If yes then I'm heading down the road of it's either a) an incompatible switch or b) new switch wired incorrectly.

    Based on that my first course of action is to ensure its wired correctly. To do this properly I want to confirm what wires perform what function. This requires me to take off both switches of the 3way cct, pull out my meter and figure it out. Once that's done I'll throw it all back together based on the dimmer manufacturers wiring diagram and test for proper operation.

    Still doesn't work? I'll remove the dimmer and place the "standard" 3way switch back into the cct. If it works properly, well then we know the problem is the dimmer. If it still doesn't work with the "standard" switch I cut my Masters card up and go become a plumber
    Originally posted by Arash Boodagh
    Before I start pwning all the members with my findings.
    Originally posted by Arash Boodagh
    Plus, is it true you can feed a pig elephant dong and it will still grow and build meat?
    Originally posted by Toma
    rx7_turbfoags best friend
    Toma the homophobe?

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