Switch out a Dimmer Switch with 5 Black Wires


If the dimmer controls only one light, the four wire bundle is almost certainly a group of hot leads powering several fixtures or outlets in addition to the dimmer and its fixture. The single wire from the dimmer goes to the fixture it controls.

You can confirm this by checking the leads using a non contact tester. Make sure the wires are not touching the box or anything else. Turn the dimmer off. Turn the breaker on. You should read power on the bundled wires and no power on the single wire.

Turn the breaker off again.

A pigtail (a short black wire) should be connected between the 4 wire bundle and one terminal of the switch (if is is a basic switch, either terminal will do). Connect the other terminal to the single wire. Mount the switch and turn the breaker back...

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Having a dimmer switch on a light fixture gives you complete control. Rather than bright lighting all the time, you can adjust the light level to any setting you desire to add ambiance to a room. This is easily achieved with incandescent bulbs and a dimmer switch will work easily with them. With fluorescent lights, however, fitting a dimmer switch is a trickier proposition.

Tip #1 - Use Ballast

A dimmer switch won’t work with the standard ballast in a fluorescent light. You need to install a special dimmer ballast and this won’t work in all fluorescent fixtures. It’s also possible that the existing screw holes won’t work with the ballast mounting screws, in which case you’ll need to drill new holes for them. This can be a very involved procedure.

Before you begin work, check at a hardware store to be certain you can fit dimmer ballast to your fixtures.

Tip #2 - Get the Right Cable

You can’t use the regular cable when installing a dimmer switch...

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Watch more Home Decor & Lighting videos: http://www.howcast.com/videos/33757-H...

How many handymen does it take to install a dimmer switch? None -- you can do it yourself in a snap.

Working with electricity is very dangerous. Be extremely careful and, if you have any doubts, contact a professional.

Step 1: Cut the power
Cut the power to the light switch by flipping the circuit breaker or removing the fuse at the main panel.

Make sure the power is off by flipping the light switch.

Step 2: Remove the plate
Unscrew and remove the light switch cover plate.

Step 3: Remove the switch
Unscrew the screws that anchor the switch in the electrical box, and remove the switch. It will now be attached by only three wires.

Use a circuit tester to make sure none of the wires going into the switch are live.

Step 4: Remove two wires
Two of the wires going into the switch will be similar...

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Usually a switch does not have polarity ( hot & neutral) as it is usually used just to close a circuit. If you are replacing a regular toggle switch with a dimmer switch, 1st make sure that there are no other switches that control the same light ie:3-way or 4-way switch, such as a switch at the top of stairs & another at the bottom of the stairs that control the same light. (or different ends of hallways) Those have different wiring configurations! If it's just a simple single light switch, like a bedroom light,without a ceiling fan or anything else, you can connect either black wire to either of the 2 wires that are coming off of the original switch, and the ground (green) connected to the box if it's metal. 2nd, if you are using a CFL (Compact Fluorescent Light bulb) It has to be specially made to be "Dimmable" They make them but they cost a little bit more than the standard...

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Three Methods:Changing a Single-Pole Light SwitchChanging a Three-Way SwitchChanging a Dimmer SwitchCommunity Q&A

You may need to replace or upgrade a light switch for a variety of reasons, such as if the switch becomes dirty, faulty, or outdated. You may also find it useful to replace old switches when preparing to sell your home or when trying to make your home more efficient. Upgrading a light switch is a great time to look into options such as dimmer, combination, occupancy sensing, and other types of switches for increased convenience, comfort, and efficiency. Learning how to replace a light switch is relatively easy and may be able to save you the cost of hiring an...

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Step 1: Gather tools and turn off the power to the switch

Photo 1: Check for hot wires

Turn off the power at the main circuit panel. Hold the tip of a non-contact voltage detector near each screw terminal to be sure the power is off. Then unscrew the switch and pull it from the box.

It doesn't take long to replace an ordinary light switch with a full-feature dimmer. But while you're at it, to make your home safer, you should upgrade the wiring to meet the latest requirements of the National Electrical Code. Our step-by-step instructions will show you how to install the dimmer, concentrating on details that will guarantee a safe installation.

The tools you'll need are inexpensive and will come in handy for all your electrical projects. You'll need a screwdriver, wire stripper, inexpensive voltage tester and needle-nose pliers to install a dimmer.

To begin, turn off the power and double-check for hot wires in the box. Turn on the light and have a...

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Most of the traditional houses have sincecalled SPDT light switch on most control elements that are used for illumination. These types of switches have only two choices: on or off. However, the replacement of the control pole on the dimmer, can give you much more control over the atmosphere in your home.

Dimmers are usually used by a sliding leveror rotary dial. It is set circuit which passes only part of a ball of energy to increase or decrease the voltage. This can provide several advantages.

Light control devices have many advantages over their counterparts banana.

Environmentally friendly: reduces your monthly electric bill by 4-9%; allows you to create an atmosphere in the room, which is suitable for everything that is happening at the moment, for example, children are playing or you are watching a movie; light bulbs are used with dimmers longer: the light faded, allowing at least 25% saving; fluorescent lamps, which are connected to this unit will...
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Once the wires are attached, you can gently fold any excess wire and compress the dimmer into the electrical box. Move slowly to ensure the wires don’t loosen or break if you have to force the switch into position. Tighten the screws to secure the switch to the box, and fit the switch plate. You will find that tightening or loosening the switch screws in the box by a few small twists makes a difference with how well the plate fits over the box. Once the cover is in place, turn the breaker or fuse back on, and check your handiwork!

Not all light bulbs are intended for use with dimmer switches – the wrong combination can damage the bulb as well as the dimmer electronics. The bulb's packaging will usually indicate if it is dimmable....

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Learn how easy it is to wire a dimmer switch in your home with these step-by-step instructions. Wiring a dimmer switch is a great way to add some ambiance to a room in your home. This article is supplemental to the recently posted video about replacing a single-pole switch with a dimmer switch.

As with all electrical projects, safety is paramount, and the the most important thing to remember is not to work on live circuits! Turn off the power FIRST! Review our safe work practices page on the website, and any other applicable resource that you may have at your disposal prior to beginning any electrical project. Check with your insurance provider, and with your local electrical or building authority for any required permits or approvals that may be required. If you aren’t comfortable with this, or any household electrical project or task, ALWAYS refer the work to a professional.

Check what lamps are in the fixture that you are attempting to install the dimmer switch...

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How to Determine Dimmer Switch Wattage Rating

Common dimmer wattage ratings are 150 watts, 300 watts, 600 watts and 1000 watts. 150 watt rated dimmers are usually for a single bulb. Wattage rating is usually on a sticker on the light fixture.

Multiply the number of fixtures by the wattage rating of each fixture.Multiply the result by 125 % (continuous load).Round up to the next dimmer wattage rating.

Dimmer wattage calculation example:

5 light fixtures.60 watt fixture rating.Multiply result by 125% (1.25). 5 fixtures x 60 watts = 300 watts. 300 watts x 1.25 = 375 watts. Next higher wattage dimmer rating = 375 watts or higher (600 watts).

Do Dimmers Save Energy?

While older rheostat type dimmers do not, modern dimmers do save energy when dimming lights. Dimming lights also extend the life of incandescent light bulbs.

Dimmer Feels Very Warm

It is normal for a dimmer to feel warm especially if the lighting load is close to the...

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Hi I'm Robert Herdan with West Oaks Tile. And I'm here to show you how to repair a dimmer switch. The tools you'll need for this job are a flat head screwdriver, a Phillips head screwdriver, a pair of needle nose pliers, and some wire cutters. Okay when you have a dimmer switch that's in your home and it doesn't work anymore there is a lot of reasons why something can go happen with it. But just to simplify it it's not cost effective to actually try and fix it. And trying to find the parts would probably almost be impossible. So the simplest thing to do is just to go out and buy a new dimmer switch which you know the average dimmer switch is probably around six dollars. So it's not that much money. So now what you do s you want to see that the power is off. So you check to see by turning the switch on. If the switch will not turn the light on because it's broken then what you'll need to do is get yourself a electrical tester. The one I have has two probes on it so that you can plug...

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You're correct. The dimmer switch was not made for that fan.

The Green is ground > so you're right there too. I assume other plugs nearby are working when dimmer is on. Check that to make sure.

By your description, I assume there is NOT another switch or dimmer that connects to same light. If so, you need a 3-way switch and the following instructions are void.

I suspect when you wired the new fan, that you saw the red and small black wires in the ceiling box. Did you connect the fan and light to those wires? If so, the following information will help you wire the switch.

Your incoming Hot line is probably the larger black wire that connects to Dimmer black >>> this wire will connect to either screw on the new switch

To test Hot wire for sure: Take out dimmer and mark wires for identification. Separate wires. Turn on power and test each wire to bare ground. Tape tester leads to wood sticks so hands are away from power. You'll be fine. Tester...

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A two-way dimmer switch has three wires coming out of the back. Usually, two wires will be black and one will be green. However, it might have one red, one white and one green or one black, one white and one green. When installing your dimmer, remember electricity flows into it on one side and out on the other side. If your dimmer has two black wires, the orientation doesn't matter. If there are different color combinations, attach red or black to the black wire in the wall or whichever wire is hot (has power). Use a voltmeter to check which wire in the wall has voltage if you are unsure. White is the neutral, or return, wire and should go to the white wire in the wall. The green wire simply goes to ground, or the bare copper wire, in the wall.

The purpose of a light switch is to cut the flow of electricity in the loop by making a break in the line. A dimmer switch accomplishes the same thing, but instead of cutting the electricity all at once, it slowly decreases the flow...

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Photo: Kit Stansley

I like mood lighting as much as anyone, particularly first thing in the morning when the full blast of light from a 100 watt bulb makes me scream like a vampire at high noon. Could be that I’m just not a morning person. Regardless, I like to be able to adjust the brightness in a room, and installing a dimmer switch is a pretty easy way to get control over your lighting.

Before you go around ripping switches out of the wall, there are a couple of things you should know about wiring and dimmer switches:

– Not all dimmer switches are compatible with Compact Fluorescent Lights. If you have CFL bulbs you will need to go with one of the newer varieties, like those from Lutron.

– Check to see if the switch you want to replace is a single pole (one switch) or three-way (can be turned on/off from multiple locations) switch—that too will determine the type of dimmer you need.

– Some dimmer switches use resistors so...

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Wiring a light switch or dimmer

One of the simplest electrical wiring jobs you can carry out is to replace an existing light switch, either with a new one in a different style (perhaps to match the colour scheme in a newly-decorated room) or with a dimmer switch that will allow you to vary the intensity of the room's lighting from full brightness down to mere glimmer.

Most switches contain just one cable, linking the switch to the light it controls. One-way switches made of plastic have just two terminals on the back of the faceplate, to accept the live and switches live cable cores. The earth core goes to the terminal in the base of the mounting box. Two-way switches have three terminals on the back; if they are wired for one-way switching , the top terminal and either of the bottom terminals are used to connect the switch cable. All three terminals are used for connecting the switches in two-way switching arrangements.

What to do?

Turn off...

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Wires into the switch black , green & white coming from my C/B box (black is only wire that is hot) 3 wires coming from my light fixture black, white & green. 3 other wires black, green & white coming from a wall recep.

Put a jumper wire (small black) onto the hot wire nut them with with 1 hot going to 1 of the two black wires on the dimmer switch and the other hot black over to the wall recep. black. Ran the black coming from the light fixture the other black coming off the dimmer switch. Tied all the remaining whites together and then tied all the grounds (greens) together. Using 40 watt incondesent bulbs in the fixture. When I turn the dimmer on the fixtures it only goes on and off and will not dim? Replaced the dimmer with another with the same result. NEED HELP SOLVING THIS with someone that knows electrical trouble shooting. I have changed many dimmers but never ran into this problem??...

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This article will help you to test the Low-High Beam Headlight Dimmer switch on your GM pick up, van, mini-van or SUV.

Specifically, you'll be able to troubleshoot and diagnose a No Low Beams or a No High Beams Headlight problem.

As you might already be aware this Low-High Beam Headlight Dimmer Switch is part of the Turn Signal Switch.

In this article, I'll show exactly what you need to do to test it. Now, if you need to just test the Headlight Switch, you can find the test article here: Headlight Switch Test.

To help you navigate this article, here are its main points:

Symptoms Of A BAD Low-High Beam Headlight Dimmer Switch.. What Tools Do I Need To Test The Headlight Switch? Circuit Descriptions. TEST 1: Checking Headlight Switch Input. TEST 2: Low Beam Headlight Output. TEST 3: High Beam Headlight Output. Test Summary.

Symptoms Of A BAD Low-High Beam Headlight Dimmer Switch

The most common (and well, probably the only one) is...

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There’s no better way to understand how an electrical circuit works than to replace a single pole light switch, whether it’s positioned along or at the end of the circuit.

Today, I’m going to show you how to replace a single pole light switch, while also giving you a lesson in electrical safety. For information on how to replace a three or four way switch, see our list of Frequently Asked Questions specific to this video.

Before starting any electrical project, you need to know how to access your electrical service panel to turn off the electrical supply to the circuit you are working on to avoid getting shocked. It’s also extremely important to carefully read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. If you have any doubts about performing any of these tasks, you should call a licensed electrician to do the work. But if you’re up for it, let’s get started.

Your project actually begins at the electrical supply panel, which is also commonly referred to as a...

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