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Why does my Light switch dim when screwing back into wall?

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  • elisee828 May 12, 2014

    I replaced ceiling fixtures with new recessed fixtures. The circuit works perfectly as long as the switch isn't screwed into the wall. When I try to screw in. The top screw, the lights go out, but it does not trip the breaker. The grounds were not connected in the old fixtures, but I connected them in the new fixtures. I inspected the wires in the light switch box, and I do not see anywhere that wires could be touching anything wrong in the box.

  • gregaroth
    gregaroth May 19, 2014

    My guess is you are using the push in terminals on the back of the switch and the pressure is forcing the wire to break contact. Move the wires to the screws on the side. Either that or the switch is cracked or otherwise damaged.

  • S Polcik
    S Polcik Jul 23, 2014

    It sounds like you have a loose wire. If you are using a switch with the stab lok and screws use the screws. A lot of times it will look like the wire is correctly inserted into the stab lok when in reality it isn't. With the power off tug on the wires and make sure they are connected; you shouldn't be able to pull them out. Also check any connections you made in the box and check the wires for any bends or kinks in the wire; the wire could be broken inside the insulation. I hope this helps.



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Loose connections or bad wire.

Posted on May 12, 2014


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Help. I need help properly connecting wires on a new ceiling fan.

Usually, the fans with remotes will dim the lights by holding the light button for a few seconds. So, the red wire would stop this feature if wired directly to the fixture. That would eliminate the wire coming out of the receiver for the lights. If you want the light to dim, then tape off the red wire, so the remote will dim them. The wall switch won't work anymore. If you want to connect the red wire , tape off the wire from the receiver that connects to the light sockets and connect the red wire to the wire for the light sockets. This will operate the fan but the remote will not dim the lights. If you have a motor speed controller in the wall from the old fan, remove it and replace it with a switch or eliminate the switch altogether so the remote will control the fan speed.

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This is an edit of my original problem posted a few minutes ago. I'm replacing a foyer light that is operated by a double light switch ON THE WALL (switch 1 turns on the foyer light, switch 2 turns on...

Wiring is difficult to see without clear description of each wire inside the box... and more difficult when folks take wiring apart without taking photo of wiring before starting. Then they throw away the old switch,,, so comparison cannot be made to new switch.

That being said:
Did you install a new 3-way switch?
Is it a 3-way switch with 2 brass screws and 1 dark screw and 1 green screw? The dark-colored screw is common screw.

If you installed new 3-way switch, then it is probably wired wrong.
Or there is damage to a wire that is not covered with repair... or both bad wire and wrong wiring.

Look at OLD 3-way switch and identify which screw is the common screw. Should be marked on back of device.
Identify which wire went to common screw on OLD switch.
Look at NEW switch, and identify which is the common screw (dark-colored screw), and then attach OLD common wire to NEW common screw.

Otherwise, put old switch back into box... see if it works... take some photos... attach photos to comment to this thread ... take photo of new switch from back, showing all screws so I can see what is going on.

We can fix it it...and I will be here all evening to assist.


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How do u change a house hold light switch on a wall

Turn off power.
Unscrew cover plate.
Unscrew both screws holding switch into wall box.
Pull switch outward to stretch wires.
Take photos so you can reconstruct wiring if necessary.
Note color of each screw.
Green is for ground wire.
There are many different kinds of switches.
Single pole switch has two wires plus ground, and both screws will be same brass color, plus green ground screw.
3-way switch has 3 wires plus ground, and one screw will be different color than other two screws, plus green ground screw.
Remove wires from switch.
If wires are attached into holes on back of switch, notice there is small slot next to each hole.
Insert small screwdriver or metal nail file into slot while pulling on wire. This takes 3 hands, and then wire will come out of hole.
Replace each wire onto new switch, matching the old switch, tighten screws very tight, and then put switch back into box.
When pushing wires back into box, you want to keep the wires folded behind the switch as much as possible.
Wires are not harmed when scrunched back into box.
Put switch cover over switch so no possible spark can exit box.
Turn power ON, and try the switch.

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