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Dimmer switch need a diagram to show how to wire dimmer switch to three lights on same wire

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Hi Janet,

I'm an electrician and can help you wire this switch. The wiring at the switch doesn't really change. You will be removing one wire from the old switch and connecting it to the new switch and doing that once more for a single pole switch. If you have a 3-way switch it is more involved - but I can help with that too let me know.

The wires at the light fixtures simply daisy chain ground to ground, white to white & black to black at one fixture on to the next, to next ,to the next for as many fixtures that are to come on when the switch is turned on. The number of lights and which lights that are to turn on were set up when the room or space was first wired.

Below is what the wiring will look like:

Switch in box. 3 lights in boxes

Black --------/ -------------------------------------------------'-----'-----'
Power O O O
White ---------------------------------------------------------'-----'-----'

If you have questions - provide the dimmer make & model number.

I hope this helps!

Posted on Mar 02, 2012

  • Steve Mar 02, 2012

    It looks like my "graphic" didn't get posted the way I they looked when created, so please disregard it. Copy & paste the link below into your browser:

    Good luck!



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65671e7.gif 9690fc0.gif 3a3a821.gif good look

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SOURCE: I want to replace dimmer switch with standard switch

the two black wires spliced are Live wires ( same value as RED) the other single black is the return. The two twisted blacks from the wall go into ther active hole of the new switch and the single into the return. No third wire for earth is needed

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SOURCE: Problem w/new sliding dimmer

The problem is that the Cooper #9530DS-K-L is actually a 3-way switch and you need a single pole dimmer switch to replace your existing single pole toggle switch.

If you want to use the Cooper switch you have you can take one of the black wires and cap it with a wire nut and connect the other two wires, but frankly, you'd be paying about 2 times the price for a 3-way dimmer switch when you only need a single pole switch.

You should be able to return the switch and get the correct one.

You should only have (2) black wires on the proper replacement switch, plus a ground wire

Hope you found this very helpful and best regards!

Posted on Aug 07, 2009

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SOURCE: wiring dimmer to knob and tube

You should attach the green grounding wire to the metal box using a green grounding screw. You don't want to leave the wire loose, as any contact with the switch screws could cause a short.

Also, you should wrap the switch with at least 2-3 complete wraps of electrical tape to prevent the screws from contacting the sides of the wall box.

As a side note, you should likely have a complete check done on your house if you still have knob and tube wiring installed, as the dangers associated with this very old wiring are many. Typically, older K&T wiring was used in homes well over 60 years ago and houses then only had minimal electric current drawing devices, such as lights and a couple of other small appliance devices (toasters, coffee pot, TV and radio, etc.)

The problem with older homes with K&T wiring still in use, is that the circuits can be easily overloaded with modern electric convinences and lead to a possible fire situation, especially since there is no dedicated ground to help mitigate short circuits, etc. Also, the rubber based insulation used on this type of wiring deteriorates after 40 years (+/-) and rodents tend to chew on exposed wires in attics and crawl spaces.

I don't wish to alarm anyone, but as a Licensed Master Electrician, I've seen and done my share of repair work involving Knob & Tube wiring and even had a couple of homes that had a mix of it and other, newer wiring, that I've completely rewired. Many states require K&N wiring be replaced before a home can be sold, so getting a jump on it will make your home safer and better suited to operate all the devices that people tend to have, in today's society.

Hope you find this Very Helpful and best regards!

Posted on Sep 10, 2009

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SOURCE: 3 way dimmer turns on and off, but does not dim

All your wiring looks good. Many times dimmer just have problems and are faulty. You should note that the dimmer can only handle 600 watts. If you have that or more on it, than you have probably fried the dimming mechanism. In either case the dimming mechanism is not working properly and you will have to take it back and get the same dimmer or a different one. Tell the store they sold you a faulty dimmer and you can get a replacement at no cost.

Posted on May 29, 2010

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2 Answers

I would like to connect a two way dimmer to a one way circuit.

Do you mean a three way dimmer?

How many switches do you want to be in the circuit when you are finished?

A three way switch can be used in a circuit where one or two switches are desired.

What you need to find is which two wires go to the light, and which two come from the power.

Are you in the US, if so, there will be a white wire which should be a non current carrying conductor. It will not be attached to the switch.

Without understanding the number of switches that are currently in the circuit, I'm going to tell you if you just are wanting to replace a single switch with a three way, than "yes" that is not a problem.

Hit me back when you can with the rest of the information.

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Looking for a wiring diagram for a three way dimmer switch with the power source starting at the dimmer switch then to another three way non dimmer switch and ending at the light. Thanks

I know you asked for a diagram, but this may solve your issue. If both switches are 3 way (not 4 way) then they will have a single terminal on one side and two terminals on the other. The two terminals on both switches are for the "traveler" wires. Your first switch will take power in (the black wire) to the single terminal. Two traveler wires connect the two terminals on the first switch to the two terminals on the second switch. The single terminal on the second switch is the output to the light. In addition there will be a ground and a neutral coming in to the first switch box, and just passing through to the second box, and just passing through to the light. So, in total, here are the wires---- The input to the first box should be a black (hot) , white (neutral) , and bare (ground). Between the two boxes will be two travelers (usually a black and a red), the neutral (usually white), and the ground. Out of the second box will be the same as the input to the first box. I hope this helps. By the way, as long as there is only one dimmer, it's the same as no dimmer. And if you have four terminals (and therefore 4 way switches) you can just tape over (and don't use) any one of them and you have a three way Good luck Al K

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A standard dimmer switch only needs two wires plus ground, just like a standard switch. If you are replacing a three-way switch with a dimmer, then you need a three-way dimmer switch (which has three wires). 4-way switches have 4 wires. Note, with 3-way or 4-way switches you have multiple switches controlling the same light, but only one of them can be a dimmer. good luck, Al K

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