Question about Leviton Decora Light Dimmer Switch

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I just installed a Leviton IP106 Illumatech dimmer switch. It was replacing my existing rotary dimmer switch. The switch is a 3-way wiring job, with another 3-way toggle switch (no dimmer) on the other end of the room. The problem is: I can only turn the light on from the other toggle switch across the room. The "power" button on the new dimmer switch shows the lighted LED when the other switch is powered off, but when I try to turn the light on from the new dimmer, the button does nothing. However, when I turn the light fixture on from the other toggle switch across the room, I can then go over to the new dimmer switch and adjust the brightness with the slide...I just can't turn the light fixture on/off with the power button. I was sure to label all the wires and duplicate the connection from the old dimmer switch. Any ideas?

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Bob

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The Leviton IP106 Illumatech dimmer switch must be installed at the switch location where the hot feed exists. From your description your hot feed is at the regular 3-way switch location. Swap locations.

Posted on Dec 22, 2010

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Anonymous

I test electrical devices.
1. Many arrive defective.
2. Other electronic home devices don't workBuy inexpensive circuit analyzer from home center and see if there is a problem on the circuit.
3. I am looking at the IP106 manual for trouble spots.
Let me throw out a list of things that might help or not.
The other 3-way switch does NOT require additional jumper wire, as many devices do.
The other 3-way switch has 2 brass screws and 1 dark screw. Traveler wires connect to brass screws and these wires travel to dimmer and connect to dimmer red wires.
Here's a way to identify travelers for sure > replace dimmer with ordinary 3-way switch and put travelers on brass screws and check that both switches work in all positions.

One peculiar thing I see in manual is 3-D illustration for 3 way installation doesn't exactly match schematic drawing located beneath 3-D illustration. However I believe the red wires are the travelers based on directions given for 2-way installation.

Step 6 and step 7 show how to test dimmer immediately after wiring the device. And show minimum brightness adjustment. If your instructions don't have this section. Manuals have illustrations and manuals are shown at Leviton:
http://www.leviton.com/OA_HTML/ibeCCtpSctDspRte.jsp?section=17189&minisite=10025
http://www.leviton.com/OA_HTML/ibeCCtpItmDspRte.jsp?item=35337§ion=17189&minisite=10025

I see also that load maximum is 500 watts for 3-way. Check total wattage load.
The dimmer is for incandescent ... which implies that it will NOT work for CFLs or LED
The last part of manual has troubleshooting which does not show your issue, but gives a tech support number 1-800-824-3005

Add a comment and let me know what final outcome is, for my notes and to help the next fixya person who needs help.

Posted on Dec 22, 2010

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with a three way switch like this, you will have two traveller wires and a common wire. Look in the instructions for the switch or on the back of the device itself to see if there is a wire labeled "common" or "com". This common wire from the old switch hooks up to the common wire on the new switch. I did a bit of searching on the leviton 6602, but couldn't find anything specifically about the three way version (I would venture to guess, however, that the red wire on the old switch is the common). The common on one of the three way switches will always be a constant hot (or power) wire...the common on the other three way switch will be the "switch leg" or the wire that connects directly to the light. The two travellers go to the other two wires. Check the pamplet that came with the lutron device, it should show which wire is common and which are travellers.

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My rotary dimmer doesn't switch 3-ways. I have to push the dimmer button to "on", then I can use the other switch to turn on/off.


You posted under Leviton rotary dimmer.
Lutron and Leviton have many 3-way dimmer styles, and both make 3-way rotary dimmers.

I remember years ago replacing 3-way switches with dimmers and having same experience as you. One dimmer has to be ON for the other dimmer to dim.

Later I learned when you replace both 3-way switches with dimmers, you buy a control-and-companion dimmer set. One dimmer is main, and it lets you dim from both locations. The two dimmers communicate with each other electronically. Buy these dimmers at lighting store that specializes in fixtures and dimmers. Ask for most experienced salesperson.

I checked to see if rotary dimmers are made in the companion set. And neither Leviton or Lutron show 3-way companion set rotary dimmers.

1) Leviton spec sheet on rotary 3-way dimmers does not show companion dimmer. This indicates that Leviton rotary dimmers don't have capability of communicating with each other.

2) Lutron has image of 3-way rotary dimmers.
Image shows single rotary dimmer in 3-way & 4-way circuit.
This tells me that Lutron does not have companion dimmer for 3-way rotary dimmer.
geno_3245_123.jpg

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The Leviton 6681 is a push-button rotary-type incandescent dimmer with 600Watt capacity
559b446.jpeg
If you have incandescent bulbs, the dimmer should work.
If the dimmer has different color wires, try reversing the wires.
If the dimmer replaced a 3-way switch, then this is not the right dimmer.
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http://www.google.com/products/catalog
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As a general rule for timers and dimmers:

The Black dimmer wire connects to black hot wire coming from breaker (122V line)
The red dimmer wire connects to Load (wire going to chandelier)

The wall red wire that is capped could be a couple different things. a) It could go to a second switch that was used to control the chandelier. b) it could be another wire that goes to same ceiling box as chandelier to be used to control a fan, except you don't have a fan. In the second case, if you install a fan with a light, you could control fan and light separately.

The green is a ground wire that connects to bare copper wire in box. The bare copper connect back to main breaker box on the Neutral busbar.
White wires that are twisted together inside your light switch box also connect back to to main breaker box on the Neutral busbar.
The ground wire and neutral are a redundant safety system to protect you from electrical devices and appliances that have 'shorted'
The black hot wire connects back to the circuit breaker.

For example, each circuit breaker controls one area of household lighting. The black white and copper wires leave breaker box in a single romex cable. The romex travels to a junction box in the area where the lights are located. The junction box is usually a switch box or a ceiling box. From the junction box, the romex travels to each other switch, light and receptacle box in the area. So each box has 1 hot and 1 neutral and 1 ground that is connected in a line that leads back to breaker box.

Here's a couple pages that make home wiring easier to understand:
http://waterheatertimer.org/See-inside-main-breaker-box.html
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http://waterheatertimer.org/Install-owb.html

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I'm assuming you've connected the line (hot) on the black and the load (out to fixture) to the red? So does the light stay on or your tester is measuring voltage. Some electronic controls will test voltage on a tester. if there is no load connected

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