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Mike
Mike, Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
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Experience:  Licensed Master Electrician - OnQ Certified Data Voice Audio Video Installer
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I'm trying to install a 3 way dimmer and the old switch had

Customer Question

Hi I'm trying to install a 3 way dimmer and the old switch had two black wires on top, two white on the bottom and a ground wire. Wondering how to wire since my Luton dimmer has 2 red a black and green ground wire. 5hanks
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  Steven Parent replied 1 year ago.

Hello Christopher, let me try and assist you with your wiring issue. Is the switch you are wanting to replace a dimmer also? or just a standard 3way switch? are there any other wires in the switch box?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Just a standard 3 way switch. No other wires coming out of box
Expert:  Steven Parent replied 1 year ago.

How many screws on each side of the old switch?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Two on each side
Expert:  Steven Parent replied 1 year ago.

and there are 4 wires terminated to it? from a 4 wire cable in the box?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Correct
Expert:  Steven Parent replied 1 year ago.

How many other switches control the same lights?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Just one other switch
Expert:  Steven Parent replied 1 year ago.

Hmm well a 3way switch will only have 3 screws. A 4way switch will have 4, and are used with 3 or more switches controlling the same lights. You're positive there is just one other switch?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am. There is another switch next to this one that controls a different set of lights. Based on this is it even possible to wire a 3 way dimmer to this switch?
Expert:  Steven Parent replied 1 year ago.

Lets see what we can do here. The switch you want to replace, where is it, and what does it control?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It is in the kitchen and controls 6 canned lights. One other switch is in kitchen and controls the same lights. Adjoining switch next to the one I want to put the dimmer on controls a separate set of lights
Expert:  Steven Parent replied 1 year ago.

Could you pull out the other switch that controls those lights and take a couple pictures of the wiring at each box?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sure thing
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Wiring from other switch
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Wiring from switch I want to replace with dimmer
Expert:  Steven Parent replied 1 year ago.

Thanks. Inside the box with the 4 wire switch, do the white and blacks that go to each side of the switch come from a 2 wire cable? or are there red wires in that box not connected to anything?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
They don't seem to come from a 2 wire cable but it's hard to tell as they go up to a tube were other wires flow to. There are a couple of red wires in the box but they aren't connected to this switch. Attaching picture, hope this helps
Expert:  Steven Parent replied 1 year ago.

Well I think the only thing I can tell you is that you cannot install that dimmer at that location. You can replace the other 3-way switch with a dimmer if you want. The way that is wired there has to be another switch somewhere else controlling those lights. There just has to be, the wiring doesn't make sense otherwise.

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