The dimmer runs seven reccesed lights with 65 watt bulbs in them. Also the other wire that comes in powers other switches in the kitchen. But the dimmer does only seven can lights. But gets warm as I
Yes, Wall Dimmer Switches do indeed get warm in use. The front part of the dimmer switch is a plate of aluminum, and is actually a "heat sink" for the innards. It dumps the heat to the outside front of the switch, and yes - it makes the switch-plate feel warm hen the dimmer is used.
The concern here is warm is okay, but HOT is NOT, at least not for your application of only a few lamps being dimmed.
If you are ever in a commercial establishment, like a big convention hall in a hotel, or a large restaurant dining room where a lot of lights are on single dimmer switches, you will observe the switches actually have external heat sinks, large plates of finned metal, on the outside of the switch. Those are designed to dim many lights, and can indeed get quite hot.
Take the plastic plate off and read the wattage rating that is stamped into that aluminum plate. As long as the total of your load (7 lamps times 65 watts each lamp equals 455 watts total load) is equal to or less than the "Maximum Load" shown on the switch, you are fine.
If you still feel the switch is too hot for your peace of mind, replace it with one rated for an even greater load - it will possibly run a bit cooler (Ohm's law says it will not!). Switches can and do wear out, and they are inexpensive enough that replacement is "cheap insurance".
If you go that route, and decide to replace the switch yourself (a relatively easy task, Google yourself a "How-to" video on the subject) and unless you are very VERY familiar with the circuitry in your home, just go ahead and throw the Main Breaker of the house off for the 15 or 20 minutes the job will take you.
That way, you won't have any 'shocking surprises' when you start fiddling inside that switch-box.
(make sure you have fresh batteries in your best flashlight, and all the tools you need, before you start!)
Best 'o luck, William!
Jan 23, 2015 |