Step #3. Houses wired with plastic-sheathed cable almost always have bare copper ground wires that you'll connect to the toggle dimmer switch. Turn off the power again before proceeding. Screw the dimmer switch onto the electrical box by threading the mounting screws into the threaded openings on the box. Most dimmers are designed to handle 600 watts. I will create a future article covering that scenario. Before touching the original light switch. If the switch you're replacing is the only switch controlling the light, buy a standard single-pole dimmer. Pull the dimmer switch out of the wall, and remove the wire splice connectors using a common screwdriver. Open the dimmer switch and strip the rubber coating from the wires. Single pole switches will have 3 wires: a hot lead wire, a ground wire and a traveler wire. Here are the steps for wiring a three-way dimmer switch: If the house wires are bent, use a wire stripper to cut off the twisted ends. The dimmer switch has 2 black wires and one red. length of bare copper wire onto the metal box with a screwdriver. Push the wiring and the three-way dimmer into the switch box connecting it at the top and the bottom of the box with screws provided with the dimmer. The black and red wires in the other bundle (four-wire), entering the box from up top, are the travelers (wires from the other switch). We are no longer supporting IE (Internet Explorer) as we strive to provide site experiences for browsers that support new web standards and security practices. This wiring is dull gray, not the dull orange that's characteristic of copper. 1. With the switch off, test for voltage to determine if the lone wire, on the bottom of the switch, is the hot (line) or if the two connected wires, on the top, are together the hot (line). of insulation from the end of the wires. Screw the dimmer to the box with the screws provided. of the insulated covering from the wires in the box and bend a loop in each with needle-nose pliers. Connect the two black (one wire may be red with a white stripe) wires to the traveler wires in your wall, typically marked with a white or black rubber finish. How to install a Dimmer switch. Plus, they're good for the environment. This may indicate a dangerous switched neutral. With a three-way switch, three wires connect the pair of switches—two black “traveler” wires and a third “common” wire. Most dimmers come with a plate to fit the new dimensions, but some are made to fit standard plates. 3-WAY or MULTI-WAY SWITCH INSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONS . But installing a dimmer switch is a little more involved than simply swapping out a few wires. Multiply this figure by 2 for 14-gauge wire and 2.25 for a 12-gauge wire to get the minimum box volume in cubic inches. It doesn't matter if you reverse the two switch wires to a single-pole dimmer. I don’t have any instruction for it. For instance, the Lutron P-PKG1W-WH-R Smart Lighting Dimmer Switch will work without a neutral wire, but it does require its own bridge. Disconnect both wires from the middle switch and cap each one with a wire nut Turn on the circuit breaker Carefully remove the wire nut from one of the disconnected wires and touch it to the hot terminal on the left switch - if the living room recessed lights come on, that was the LOAD wire - … After you unscrew the switch and pull it away from the box, probe around inside the box with the detector to make sure there are no other hot wires from another circuit. Dimmer Switch mechanism. Aside from the single pole vs. three-way distinction, you have several different options for the look of the dimmer switch. Wrap the ground wire around the green screw at the bottom of the standard switch. The tools you’ll need to install a toggle dimmer switch are inexpensive and will come in handy for all your electrical projects. In most cases, the two switch wires will be some color other than green or white, usually black. It depends on the dimmer switch. With the power off, connect the black hot wire to the old switch. The full guide for single-pole and 3-way switches. But while you’re at it, to make your home safer, you should upgrade the wiring to meet the latest requirements of the National Electrical Code. You’ll need a screwdriver, wire stripper, inexpensive (2 lead wire type) voltage tester and needle-nose pliers to install a dimmer. Remove the dimmer switch from the box. Turn on the light and have a helper watch as you switch off the circuit breakers, or unscrew the fuses one at a time until the light goes out. It doesn’t take long to replace an ordinary light switch with full-feature dimmable switches. 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