Question about Cooper Wiring Devices Aspire Smart Dimmer Switch, Sand

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I'm using a Cooper Master Dimmer with a Cooper toggle type 3 way switch circuit controlling one incandescent light fixture. My home is 30 years old and I've found many deviations from acceptable wiring practices. I hooked the two switches up last night and as long as I have the toggle type 3 way in one position it will allow the master to control the fixture brightness. When I turn the master off it comes back on about 1 minute later. I suspect the travellers are not landed correctly. I'm about to start ringing out the wiring if I could be certain that the master switch is not malfunctioning.

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The problem is most likely not the dimmer or the wiring, but rather the existing 3-way switch.

First of all, the Aspire smart dimmer does not work in conjunction with traditional, 3-way, on/off toggle switches. When the 3-way switch is in one-position, it lets the dimmer work, but in the other position, it cuts power to the entire lighting circuit - and the smart dimmer is NOT going to be able to override that. You instead need to get the corresponding remote dimmer (sometimes called a slave, or a companion dimmer), and use that to replace the standard 3-way switch.

That may also solve your "mystery turn-on" issue. Even though those dimmers can use the existing 3-way switch wiring, you have to REALLY pay attention to the instruction sheets to see how the master and the slave wire up to each individual electrical box. I vaguely remember that even if you were to use the product in a single-pole application, those two wires that, I assume, you attached to the traveller wires in the house needed to be shorted together in order to work - and since you have them running into a 3-way switch, the errors that you're seeing are bound to happen.

Long story short, get the slave dimmer, install it according to the instructions, and all these problems should go away.

Posted on Nov 09, 2010

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