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Mike G.
Mike G., Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 7250
Experience:  Proven Professional 48 years Experience
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Can I ask an electrical wiring question regarding dimmers

Customer Question

Hi Pearl, can I ask an electrical wiring question regarding dimmers and three ways here?
JA: How old is the system in question? And have you consulted an electrician yet?
Customer: The current system is about 3 years old - and I have not consulted an electrician YET. I am trying to replace a dimmer switch with another dimmer switch.
JA: Do you plan on doing the work yourself?
Customer: If possible and safely.
JA: Anything else we should know to help you best?
Customer: I am trying to switch out a Skylark S 603 PG dimmer (it has two red wires and a black wire) with a Lutron Wireless Caseta 3 way switch with two black wires and a ground. There is a Caseta video that shows I should take the two red wires, twist them with one of the black, and take the black (load) wire and twist with the other. I'm just worried that there is no ground wire.
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  Mike G. replied 4 months ago.

Hi, I'm Mike and I'll be assisting you. Please stand by while I review your question.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
There is a regular switch on the other wall that I am going to leave intact.
Expert:  Mike G. replied 4 months ago.

What you're saying is that this is a 3 way switched circuit. If so, connect as follows.

  1. Check the switch to remain. The wires on the gold screws are travelers and when wired at the dimmer will connect to the red & red/white wires.
  2. The remaining wire will connect to the black dimmer wire.
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
The regular switch has two gold screws and a black screw (no ground either), and that wire is white. I was planning on leaving it. The Skylark has a red wire, a red/white wire, and a black wire which I think is the equivalent of the white wire on the regular switch. I'd just like to know if it's safe to twist the two red wires together with one of the black Caseta wires, twist the hot black wire with the other black caseta wire, and not have a ground.
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
There have been break ins around here, and we are sometimes not around. I'd like to have my dimmer on a wireless set up and on a timer I can activate remotely. The Skylark dimmer otherwise works perfectly.
Expert:  Mike G. replied 4 months ago.

The red wires are travelers and independently are hot depending on switch position. If twisted together the light will be on and you won't be able to turn it off.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Hi Mike. I checked the box and found it was grounded so I put in a screw through a preexistibg hole and used it as a ground. I then just followed the instructions and now I have a working wireless dimmer. Thanks for the help! Have a nice week.
Expert:  Mike G. replied 4 months ago.

Very good ,you're welcome