How to install a dimmer switch
This is a 3-way switch, made to control a light fixture that is also controlled by another switch in a different location. A typical example is a ceiling light fixture installed in an upstairs hallway, which could be controlled by switches at both top and bottom of the staircase.
The green wire in your switch is the ground connection, and joins to the green insulated or bare copper ground wire in the switch box. The red wire is the common connection. It connects either to the incoming AC hot wire from the electric panel, or to the hot terminal of the light fixture, depending on the switch location. The two black wires are traveller connections. They connect to the traveller terminals of the other 3-way switch.
If you purchased this switch as a replacement for a regular single-pole toggle switch or dimmer switch - one that controls a light from a single location only - then this isn't what you need and you can't use it. You'll know if you have a single-pole switch because it will have only three wires or screw connections. Return it and get a single-pole.
To install this as a replacement for a 3-way toggle switch or dimmer, connect the red wire to the wire going to the common terminal of the original switch. This will be a black- or brass-colored screw on a toggle switch, or the different-colored (not green, that's ground) wire on a dimmer. The black wires connect to the wires that go to the traveller screws (copper-colored) on a toggle switch, or the same-colored wires on a dimmer. It doesn't matter which traveller wire connects to which.
Note that if you're using a 3-way dimmer, only one of the switches can be a dimmer. The other switch has to be a plain old 3-way toggle.
Apr 08, 2010 |
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