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I’m trying to swap out my living room light switches for a…

Customer Question
Hello I’m trying to...

Hello I’m trying to swap out my living room light switches for a on off switch and a dimmer switch

Contractor's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. How long have you been dealing with this?

Both switches are in one box. Box is pre-wired for a fan

Contractor's Assistant: Do you plan on doing the work yourself?

Yes

Contractor's Assistant: Anything else we should know to help you best?

There are three sets of wires coming from the box. Each set has a black white and copper wire. One of the sets also has a red wire

Submitted: 1 month ago.Category: Electrical
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3/22/2018
Electrician: Mike G., Master Electrician replied 1 month ago
Mike G.
Mike G., Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 8,168
Experience: Proven Professional 49 years Experience
Verified

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

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Electrician: Mike G., Master Electrician replied 1 month ago

Do you have a 2 wire voltage tester?

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Electrician: Mike G., Master Electrician replied 1 month ago

No that is a non contact tester. It only indicates voltage in a box. It often shows voltage on dead wires close to live ones. You need a 2 wire, 2 probe tester.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
I don’t have one. It can’t be done without one!
Electrician: Mike G., Master Electrician replied 1 month ago

Can you send pictures of the old switches with wires attached and pictures of the new switches you intend to install?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
My husband already removed old switches
Electrician: Mike G., Master Electrician replied 1 month ago

Well that's why you need a 2 wire tester for wire identification.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
I know which one is the common hit wire. He marked it
Electrician: Mike G., Master Electrician replied 1 month ago

Are all white wires connected together?

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Electrician: Mike G., Master Electrician replied 1 month ago

That helps. Give me the count and colors of the remaining wires.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
3 white wires connected together. 3 copper ground wires. One hot black wire with two blacks pigtailing off of it. Two more black and 1 red.
Electrician: Mike G., Master Electrician replied 1 month ago

The red and black could be 2 possibilities. Either they go to the fan/light or they are going to another switch. Is there another switch across the room?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
No .
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
what I’m trying to do is hook up an on and off switch for our light . And a dimmer switch to the same light that we can keep on a setting . Is this even possible
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
We bought the adorne soft tap switch and soft tap dimmer
Electrician: Mike G., Master Electrician replied 1 month ago

OK, touch the hot wire to each of the other wires to see what comes on. Let me know when you have identified the function wires. Those not showning function are ones that continue the circuit to other outlets that may be in other rooms. Just need to know which are function wire for now.

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Electrician: Mike G., Master Electrician replied 1 month ago

Yes.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
I won’t get shocked correct?
Electrician: Mike G., Master Electrician replied 1 month ago

Just don't touch the metal of the wire with your fingers.

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Electrician: Mike G., Master Electrician replied 1 month ago

You show rooms not fixtures or receptacles. The loads listed need to be specific. You have a 2 gang box. You mentioned a switch and a dimmer. You show 3 loads, which 2 are you intending to control?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
I want both switches to control the living room. But other lights aren’t working now that these switches aren’t connected
Electrician: Mike G., Master Electrician replied 1 month ago

Your diagram showed 3 rooms. You can install a dimmer from the hot to a light only. It can't control a receptacle or a fan motor. That leaves a switch for one of the 2 remaing loads. Hot to load on the switch. The last wire will need to be connected to the hot directly. Do not use the push in connections on a device, they always fail. Only make the connection under screws. If you have multiple wires to connect to a device termination, connect the wires with a pigtail wire in a wirenut and then the pigtail to the screw termination.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
The love wire turns on those specific lights when i touch it to the remaining wires. The switch I’m trying to install. Switch one—-has a hot hole a 1pole and a three way hole.... dimmer has a hot a one pole a white and a three way hole. Frame has a green grounding wire coming out. Which do I hook up to which
Electrician: Mike G., Master Electrician replied 1 month ago

Give me the model numbers from the switches.

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Electrician: Mike G., Master Electrician replied 1 month ago

The switch only needs terminations for a hot and a function wire. Both at the top of the back ...hot & 1 pole.

The dimmer needs a hot, neutral and function wire.

You'll need a jumper wire from the white wires in the box.

Connect hot and neutral at the top on the back and the function wire to the 1 pole.

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Electrician: Mike G., Master Electrician replied 1 month ago

Yes. Your instructions show it.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
I’ll end up with a leftover function wire
Electrician: Mike G., Master Electrician replied 1 month ago

That's why I had you touch them together, to identify what they went to. If not required to be switched, connect to the hot wire.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
that’s what I showed in my orange diagram?
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
I’m really confused
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
It’s like I’m missing a black . I need to have the bottom black and top black connected to a live feed for the other switches (kitchen nook and study to work)
Electrician: Mike G., Master Electrician replied 1 month ago

You showed rooms not light fixtures or outlets needing to be switched. You have 2 devices and with instructions you should have determined which function wire needed to be switched. Having one wire left means if not needing a switch has to connect to the hot wire for contious power.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Whites are connected.... black wire on right connected to pigtail live wire ( this turns on the kitchen lights switch in kitchen works when these are connected) middle black is what turns on the living room light and ita connected to the other pigtail live wire) this is what needs to be switched. The red wire ?
Electrician: Mike G., Master Electrician replied 1 month ago

I'm sorry but I think we're not on the same page. I've given directions on identifying the wires and connections on the new devices. You have 2 devices and 3 wires that are either function or pass through to loads elsewhere. There isn't more I can offer. I'll be opting out and another expert may pick the question up.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Th m you
Electrician: David Bowden, Electrician replied 1 month ago
David Bowden
David Bowden, Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 768
Experience: Owner at Floridaco
Verified

Hello...

My name is ***** ***** I can assist you if you would like me to try?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
please
Electrician: David Bowden, Electrician replied 1 month ago

Okay... After looking at you photos (mainly the 2nd one that showed the original wires) we can connect your switches by way of eliminating some of the confusion.

Since you do not have switches controlling the lights from multiple locations, the 3 ways contacts will not be used.

You will need to add a small section of White wire to the bundled White wires, and the other end will connect into the dimmer White.

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Electrician: David Bowden, Electrician replied 1 month ago

The Red wire should also have a Black wire with it and both of those wires should go to your ceiling fixture (this should be the pre-wire for a fan and light), let me know if that is not correct.

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Electrician: David Bowden, Electrician replied 1 month ago

When done please upload a photo so I can see it.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
I’m attempting it now
Electrician: David Bowden, Electrician replied 1 month ago

It also appears that the Black wire with the Blue tape on it is "live". Please confirm that as well.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
I’m able to connect the on and off regular switch and it works. The dimmer switch is still not working.
Electrician: David Bowden, Electrician replied 1 month ago

Upload a photo

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Electrician: David Bowden, Electrician replied 1 month ago

What is the Red wire plugged into?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
The one pole on the dimmer switch
Electrician: David Bowden, Electrician replied 1 month ago

I'm researching something...

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Electrician: David Bowden, Electrician replied 1 month ago

Which switch doesn't work the one with the blue wires?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
When they’re both plugged in, neither work. The blue wire one is just the regular on off switch. The other is the dimmer switch
Electrician: David Bowden, Electrician replied 1 month ago

Everything I've read doesn't show that Blue jumper in the middle of the switch. Try removing it completely and see if that solves the problem. If you have instructions that say otherwise let me know.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
The blue jumper just turn on the little led light on the front of the switch
Electrician: David Bowden, Electrician replied 1 month ago

Well then... The only other thing I can think of is the neutral isn't connected somewhere, since everything appears to be wired on the switches correctly. Were you able to get a voltage tester? That will verify if the switches are working properly or if you have a wire not on the correct terminal.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
No I will do so tomorrow and try again
Electrician: David Bowden, Electrician replied 1 month ago

okay let me know

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Ok now my dimmer is working but my regular switch is not. If I disconnect my regular switch this is what I have left. I have a red wire free coming from the light fixture. Can I connect that one to the single pole. And somehow pigtail from my light fixture black wire that I have connected to my one pole on my dimmer and connect it to my hot on my regular switch
Electrician: David Bowden, Electrician replied 1 month ago

I will be able to help you in about an hour or so. Let me know if you have the tester as we will use it to troubleshoot the problem.

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Electrician: David Bowden, Electrician replied 1 month ago

Yes try those and see if that works.

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Electrician: David Bowden, Electrician replied 1 month ago

If it doesn't work just disconnect the red wire and we can test both the switches to see if there is a problem or if the problem is the red wire and/or the ceiling fixture.

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Electrician: David Bowden, Electrician replied 1 month ago

Greetings… Just following up to see if you were still needing some help answering your question?

Thanks,

Dave

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Electrician: David Bowden, Electrician replied 4 days ago

Hello... I would very much appreciate if you can take a few moments and reply to this email and let me know if you still require assistance, or should I proceed forward to closing out this question since it has been open for so long.

Thank you,

Dave

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