Electrical

Electrical Questions? Ask an Electrician Online.

Ask an Expert,
Get an Answer ASAP!

Electrical

I'm trying to help my son, whose new wife wanted a dimmer

Customer Question
Hi Pearl, I'm trying to...
Hi Pearl, I'm trying to help my son, whose new wife wanted a dimmer switch in both the living room (three switches) and bedroom (two switches). The switches we removed in both rooms had two black wires on the left side and one red and one green on the right side. We replaced the toggle switches with two-pole dimmer switches and wired them the exact same way. The only problem is that, while the dimmer switches works fine, the other switches don't work at all unless we shut the dimmer off and then you can turn the ceiling lights on. Then the dimmer won't work. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
JA: I'll do all I can to help. How long have you been dealing with this?
Customer: I was helping my son for a few hours last night.
JA: Do you plan on doing the work yourself?
Customer: Yes. He wanted to impress his wife and I had installed dimmers in the home he group in, so he figured it would be no problem. My lights never had more than two switches involved, though and his living room has three.
JA: Anything else we should know to help you best?
Customer: No. I guess I included all relevant information.
Submitted: 3 months ago.Category: Electrical
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Electrical Question
Answered in 7 minutes by:
8/1/2017
Electrician: George Smith, Master Electrician replied 3 months ago
George Smith
George Smith, Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 273
Experience: Superintendent at Electrical Solutions and Data
Verified
Hi this is George. Can you send a pic with what you have done?
Ask Your Own Electrical Question
Customer reply replied 3 months ago
No. I am not at my son's place and neither is he. We wired the new switch just like the old switch: two black wires to the two red screws on the left side (facing the switch) and the red wire to a brass screw on the top right of the switch and a bare, copper wire to the green screw on the bottom right of the switch.
Electrician: George Smith, Master Electrician replied 3 months ago

Sorry without seeing what you have done I can't guess what is wrong ?

Without some help I don't know. I'm an Electrician not a magician!

I'll opt out and let someone else guess!

Ask Your Own Electrical Question
Customer reply replied 3 months ago
We also reversed the two black wires in the dimmer, swapping out the top and bottom positions, to see if this would rectify the situation but that swap had no effect. It would seem that, with the living room, the only options we have would be two swap the position of a black and red wire but I have no clue what that would do, perhaps damage. Maybe we need a four-way switch since there are three wall switches in the living room.
Electrician: Mike G., Master Electrician replied 3 months ago
Mike G.
Mike G., Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 7,759
Experience: Proven Professional 48 years Experience
Verified

Hi, I'm Mike G and I'll be assisting you. Let me review your question.

Ask Your Own Electrical Question
Electrician: Mike G., Master Electrician replied 3 months ago

Look in the box. The red and black wires that enter together connect one each to the dimmerbred wires. The black wire connects to the other wire or wires.

Ask Your Own Electrical Question
Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Neither my son or I are at his place right now but I don't know what you mean about a red and black wire "that enter together" and the dimmer switch has no wires, just screws to connect wires too.
Electrician: Mike G., Master Electrician replied 3 months ago
You have a dimmer with screw connections so the pair entering the box together, red and black connect to the gold screws and other wire or wires connect to the black screw or termination marked as common.
Ask Your Own Electrical Question
Customer reply replied 3 months ago
There is only a single gold screw Two others are red and one is green. The two black wires at connected to the two red screws, the red one to the gold screw and the bare, copper wire to the green screw. What might happen if I swapped out a black wire for a red wire?
Electrician: Mike G., Master Electrician replied 3 months ago

One of the black wires is paired with the red wire entering the box. Both of those wires should be on the red screws. The single black should be on the gold screw.

Ask Your Own Electrical Question
Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Does it make a difference which black I swap out for a red wire?Just a reminder, we wired the dimmer switch the same way the regular switch was connected: two black wires onto the two red screws (which were not colored red but brass on the regular switch) on the left side of the switch (facing the switch), the red wire to the brass screw on the right side and bare copper wire to the green screw on the right.
Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Does it make a difference which black WIRE I swap out for a red wire?
Electrician: Mike G., Master Electrician replied 3 months ago

A black and red are in the same cable and enter the box. They go onred screws. The other black enters the box with a white wire. That black goes on the black screw.

Ask Your Own Electrical Question
Customer reply replied 3 months ago
These boxes had no white wires, just two black, a red and a bare copper one.
Customer reply replied 3 months ago
We have n black screws either, just two red ones, a brass one and a green one
Customer reply replied 3 months ago
We have NO black screws either, just two red ones, a brass one and a green one
Electrician: Mike G., Master Electrician replied 3 months ago

If there are only the 3 wires in the box it must be in conduit and you'll need a 2 wire voltage tester to identify the wires. Do you have one?

Ask Your Own Electrical Question
Customer reply replied 3 months ago
No.
Electrician: Mike G., Master Electrician replied 3 months ago

Without identifying them Tere isn't anything I can tell you to do. I'll opt out.

Ask Your Own Electrical Question
Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Thanks, anyway.
Ask Mike G. Your Own Question
Mike G.
Mike G.
Mike G., Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 7,759
7,759 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Proven Professional 48 years Experience

Mike G. is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

You did one super job of explaining to me everything there is to know about this fridge. I'm looking forward to asking you questions in the future.

JimmyBagley, IA

Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help.

Mary C.Freshfield, Liverpool, UK

This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!!

AlexLos Angeles, CA

Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult.

GPHesperia, CA

I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion.

JustinKernersville, NC

Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around.

EstherWoodstock, NY

Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know.

RobinElkton, Maryland

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Mike

Mike

Master Electrician

1,425 satisfied customers

Licensed Master Electrician - OnQ Certified Data Voice Audio Video Installer

Jason

Jason

Service Technician

3,940 satisfied customers

Over 20 years of experience in all types of installations, troubleshooting, and repairs.

Mike G.

Mike G.

Master Electrician

7,759 satisfied customers

Proven Professional 48 years Experience

Kevin

Kevin

Licensed Electrical Contractor

3,715 satisfied customers

30 years Licensed Electrical Contractor in Illinois, Adjunct College Electrical Instructor, Former Electrical Inspector, Diploma: Digital Electronics, FCC Technician License

AssuredElectrical

AssuredElectrical

Master Electrician

3,264 satisfied customers

Contractor-42+ Years in the ElectricalTrade

electrifier

electrifier

Master Electrician

1,458 satisfied customers

Electrical contractor and electrical inspector for over 24 years with phone and networking expertise

Rich

Rich

Master Electrician

1,115 satisfied customers

Over 35 years residential, commercial, industrial wiring, install, troubleshoot, service, maintain

< Previous | Next >

Related Electrical Questions
Can I add a 90 elbow to the main conduit so that I can raise
can I add a 90 elbow to the main conduit so that I can raise that conduit the conduit is running vertical and i need some height under the conduit … read more
Kevin
Kevin
Licensed Electrical Contractor
Diploma
3,715 satisfied customers
We are changing a light switch of a 3 way switch. We have
We are changing a light switch of a 3 way switch. We have done others in the house and they all had one red one black one white. However this one has one red and three black. Before we changed the swi… read more
Mike G.
Mike G.
Master Electrician
7,759 satisfied customers
I have a fan/light combo switch. It is one switch with two
I have a fan/light combo switch. It is one switch with two toggles on it. One for light one for fan. The fan is constantly on, but hte light switch controls the light perfectly. How do i wire it corre… read more
Sam I
Sam I
Electrician
B.S.
364 satisfied customers
I'm replacing a light switch with a WiFi Oittm switch. My
I'm replacing a light switch with a WiFi Oittm switch. My old switch has 4 wires. Black, red, white and ground. I plugged black to Live, Red to Out, white to N and ground to ground. This is not workin… read more
Sam I
Sam I
Electrician
B.S.
364 satisfied customers
I need to replace a simple light switch with a smart switch.
I need to replace a simple light switch with a smart switch. My simple switch has Gnd, Load, and Hot wires connected to it. My Smart switch needs a neutral wire as well. Is there a specific neutral wi… read more
Rick the plumber
Rick the plumber
Owner
9,857 satisfied customers
In an old house, with just 2 poles wired on my old switch,
In an old house, with just 2 poles wired on my old switch, how is supposed to be wired? … read more
Sam I
Sam I
Electrician
B.S.
364 satisfied customers
I have a dedicated 10 amp romex line in conduit, going to a
I have a dedicated 10 amp romex line in conduit, going to a direct wired garbage disposer under my kitchen sink. I want to connect this line up to a single gang outlet box to make exchanging the dispo… read more
Sam I
Sam I
Electrician
B.S.
364 satisfied customers
I have a 3 way switch. One of the switches only works when
I have a 3 way switch. One of the switches only works when the other switch is in the on position. I have tried every possible combination on my own but still can't get it to work independently at bot… read more
Mike G.
Mike G.
Master Electrician
7,759 satisfied customers
I have been trying to replace switch with combination switch
I have been trying to replace switch with combination switch and outlet For over two hours I have tried every combination possible I have 3 wires Power(white I know it is not usual but only one with p… read more
Sam I
Sam I
Electrician
B.S.
364 satisfied customers
I am running 3 circuits inside of pvc conduit. 220v 30a
I am running 3 circuits inside of pvc conduit.220v 30a water heater 220v 15a ac 120v 20a receptaclecan I use 1 shared 10awg ground wire for all circuits?… read more
Mike G.
Mike G.
Master Electrician
7,759 satisfied customers
I went to install a dimmer switch, the previous switch had 3
I went to install a dimmer switch, the previous switch had 3 black wires plugged into it. 1 wire on each of the lugs and another plugged directly into the back by the top lug. When I installed the dim… read more
George Smith
George Smith
Master Electrician
273 satisfied customers
Trying to change a switch. New switch has two black line
Trying to change a switch. New switch has two black line poles and two brass load poles. There is a hot wire, neg wire and a ground wire in the box. What poles do I connect to? … read more
Mike G.
Mike G.
Master Electrician
7,759 satisfied customers
Need help determining wire size, wire type, and conduit size
Need help determining wire size, wire type, and conduit size for 200amp panel with a 200 amp subpanel. Here is a list of my questions: http://mnjustin.com/diagram.jpg… read more
Mike G.
Mike G.
Master Electrician
7,759 satisfied customers
How much to install 100' of electrical line in a conduit if
how much to install 100' of electrical line in a conduit if the trench is already dug. Include the cost of wiring and adding a 50 Amp Circuit Breaker … read more
Kevin
Kevin
Licensed Electrical Contractor
Diploma
3,715 satisfied customers
What size wire is needed to run underground in conduit to a
What size wire is needed to run underground in conduit to a garage about 60 feet from the main connection at the power pole? This would be connected to a subpanel in the garage. … read more
Kevin
Kevin
Licensed Electrical Contractor
Diploma
3,715 satisfied customers
Do you need to remove existing conduit and or conductors if
Do you need to remove existing conduit and or conductors if they are being abandoned and not being used? … read more
Mike G.
Mike G.
Master Electrician
7,759 satisfied customers
Can I use the conduit that leads into the panel box by
Can I use the conduit that leads into the panel box by adding a second pair of wires to be connected to another circuit breaker? Easier to do than setting up another separate conduit attachment? I kno… read more
Kevin
Kevin
Licensed Electrical Contractor
Diploma
3,715 satisfied customers
I need to install about 200 ft of conduits on a warehouse
Hi Kevin... I need to install about 200 ft of conduits on a warehouse ceiling. The conduit needs to be suspended about 3 feet from the roof because of the large beams. Currently there are two rows of … read more
Kevin
Kevin
Licensed Electrical Contractor
Diploma
3,715 satisfied customers
Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x