Question about Electrical Supplies
This switch is for a 3 way system (2 switches controlling one light for a stairway or hallway). The black wire goes to the special coloured screw on the old switch (common). The common wire is either the original live wire feeding the 3 way system or it is the final wire that leads to the light fixture in a 3 way system. All 3 way systems have an either or wires called traveller wires that can be swapped from either end of the 3 way system. the red wire and the red wire with the stripe are to go to the 2 remaining wires that were on the old switch. Those are the traveller wires. If you have a green wire it goes to the ground (a screw at the back of the switchbox or any green or bare wire found in the box)
Posted on Nov 21, 2013
You are correct in assuming green is the ground and connects to bare copper wire. Black is always the HOT wire and should be attached to the black wire. Red wire connects to white wire.
Posted on Sep 13, 2009
SOURCE: I have two black
This is single-pole -or- 3-way dimmer
Manual shows on following link:
1) Manual says: The red/white wire is not used in a single-pole application. Twist a wire
nut over this wire for a single-pole application.
2) Green wire connects to bare ground wire. Or bare ground to bare ground.
3) Connect dimmer-red and dimmer-black to either insulated wire that came off of old switch
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Posted on Jan 15, 2011
SOURCE: I would like to install
The circuit you are working on is a 3-location circuit - where two of the devices were 3-way switches, and the remaining device (the one you are trying to replace with a dimmer) is a 4-way switch. Standard dimmers like the one you're using CAN NOT be used to replace a 4-way location. If you wanted to use it to replace either of the 3-way switches, that's no problem - but what you're doing right now will not work.
If you absolutely want to dim the lights from that specific electrical box, my suggestion is to upgrade to a "smart dimmer" where instead of a basic dimmer and two light switches, you have three devices that talk to one another and all dim the lights together.
In terms of your ground wire questions - ground wires certainly aren't necessary to make the whole thing work - rather they're there for safety. Sometimes installers will ground the device by connecting the ground wire to the backbox (assuming its metal) and then rely on the mounting screws on the dimmer or switch to perform the grounding. There are some code rules/exceptions for allowing the device to not be grounded (usually when its in a plastic, non-combustible backbox). If you want to make sure everything is completely up to code (which are usually goverened by local municipalities), you should consult a licensed electrician - but above all else, just use good judgement. Long story short, if the devices weren't grounded before, you can't make it any worse.
Posted on Feb 01, 2011
There is no technical reason indeed why you cannot do this. It should work fine. All dimmers work in the same fashion, and use a TRIAC to chop up the voltage and deliver it to the light, accordingly any one will work in place of another.
Posted on Jul 24, 2011
Hi James, I'm an electrician and can help you with this problem.
From what you describe, the wiring in the switch box is for a standard, single pole switch or dimmer, and is not compatible with this replacement switch. Here's why: you stated that there are (2) wires in the box, a black and white insulated wire, that once fed a dimmer switch. Common wiring practices would suggest to most electricians that the white wire is the 120 volt "hot" supply and the black is the switched leg - or output of the switch to the fixture.
The replacement inductive dimmer switch is not a standard switch. It is designed to control inductive loads - or motors such as a fan. It does not simply control the flow of current - but actually uses a small amount of electricity to do this. This means it needs a complete 120 volt circuit consisting of a neutral and hot wire; and wire for the output of the switch to the motor. A total of insulated 3 wires. You have only two.
If you have a neutral in the box, you can use the switch if wire like this:
120 volt "hot" to the switch Black
120 volt "neutral" to the switch White
120 volt load wire (to motor) to the switch Red
The switch Yellow should be taped or capped off and is used only in a three way application.
The "arm switch" cuts power and the wheel is used to set low speed setting. You can see the info sheet here.
As mentioned above, this switch is used to control a motor - not a light. The same way a dimmer is used to control a light - not a motor. If you do not have access to a neutral in the box, you should either install one or, use a different switch. There are motor speed control switches that do not require a neutral wire and cost under $25.
If you need to control both light and fan there are products that are installed in the canopy of a paddle fan that will do this for under $50 and are operated via a wireless remote that can be secured to the wall such as those below:
These can be found at Home Depot, Lowes, and electrical supply stores.
I hope this was helpful & good luck!
Posted on Apr 20, 2012
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