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mamabear

07:36PM | 09/19/00
Member Since: 09/18/00
3 lifetime posts
Bvelectrical
I tried replacing an old fan with a celing fixture and dimmer switch to an existing circuit. There are three sets of wires coming out of the celing box. There are three black and three white wires with no ground wires. The house is about 90 years old, ergo the lack of grounding wires. In the swith box there is one white and one black. The dimmer has two black wires and the instructions say it doesn't matter which ones the hot or neutral goes to. I had the dimmer switch turned off when I turned the breaker on. The light was fully on. When I pushed the dimmer switch up, there was a loud pop. Nothing tripped, the light stayed on, and I turned the breaker back off. I've already tried a new dimmer switch. I'd appreciate it if someone could give me an idea on what happened and how to correct it. I've tried just about every combination of wire matching that I can think of.

ElectrcBil

12:04PM | 09/21/00
Member Since: 07/21/00
76 lifetime posts
Sounds like you hooked up your switchleg to the neutral and connected your dimmer in parallel with the circuit. This probably destroyed your dimmer rather than tripping the breaker(or blow fuse). The dimmer is supposed to be hooked up in series with the lights hot wire. To do this find the two wires running down to the switch. One will likely be black and one white, this white is not a neutral it will be a hot going to the switch, and the black will become the hot coming from the switch. You can find these wires by (first turn off the circuit) twisting the two wires together in the switch box, then checking the pairs of wires in the ceiling box for continuity with an ohmmeter. Once you are sure of which pair is the switchleg, connect the two other blacks in the box with the white going to the switch. Then the black coming from the switch will connect to the black of the light and the remaining white wires will be your neutrals they will need to be pigtailed to the white of the light. A good tip is to use some black electric tape on the white that goes to the switch so you will know it is really a hot wire. Always try to terminate wires in this order: 1. all ground wires 2. all neutral wires 3. all hot wires. This is an unwritten code amongst all electricians, it helps to ensure that the electricity has a path to ground other than you if for some unforseen reason the circuit is hot. Good Luck I hope this helped.
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