01:11PM | 09/08/07
Member Since: 09/07/07
1 lifetime posts
I am installing a dimmer switch on a 3 way circuit. I thought I followed the directions correctly, but when I turned the breaker back on - the light turns on only when the switch is in the down position. I tried flipping the other switch, but I cannot get them both in sync. Also, the newly installed dimmer switch gets very hot. The only good news is that the dimmer part works correctly.

What did I do wrong??


02:29PM | 09/08/07
Member Since: 04/25/05
1918 lifetime posts
First of all the dimmers normally get very warm. But it run within it's rating then it should not get too hot that you can touch it for a few seconds. Most are rated at 600 watts, but less if you have to break off one or more tabs.

Different dimmers have different physicall operations (slide plus toggle, rotory with click "off" or rotory with push on/off).

But if you dim it to "zero" then you can't "undim" from the other switch (note there are master slave systems {ie "smart dimmers"} that can do that).

Past this point it appears that you have one of the travelers mixed up with the common connection to the dimmer?

The problem is that there are 5 different ways that 3 way circuits can be wired and while there is a color code, it is often not used correctly.

On the old switch you had 3 wires (plus possibly a bare/green ground).

And the switch will have 3 terminals. In most cases one terminal of one color (silver or brass) and 2 of the other colors.

What color wire was connected to what color terminal on the switch?

And did you do anything with the other switch?


Post a reply as Anonymous

Photo must be in JPG, GIF or PNG format and less than 5MB.


type the code from the image


Post_new_button or Login_button

Few projects are more fun than upcycling a vintage piece in a surprising way. Outfitted with a sink and a delicately tiled... Built on a rocky island in the Drina River, near the town of Bajina Basta, Serbia, this wooden house was cobbled together ... Large steel-framed windows flood the interior of this remodeled Michigan barn with daylight. The owners hired Northworks A... Edging formed with upside-down wine bottles is a refreshing change. Cleverly and artistically involving recycled materials... A Washington State couple called on BC&J Architects to transform their 400-square-foot boathouse into a hub for family bea... Similar to the elevated utensil concept, hanging your pots and pans from a ceiling-mounted rack keeps them nearby and easy... For windows, doors, and mirrors that could use a little definition, the Naples Etched Glass Border adds a decorative flora... The thyme growing between these stepping stones adds a heady fragrance to strolls along this lush, low-maintenance garden ... Decoupage is an easy way to add any paper design to your switch plate, whether it is wallpaper, scrapbook paper, book page... Twine lanterns add pops of crafty—but sophisticated—flair to any outdoor setting. Wrap glue-soaked twine around a balloon ... When securely fastened to a tree or the ceiling of a porch, a pallet and some cushioning make the ideal place to lounge. V... Reluctant to throw away any of those unidentified keys in your junk drawer? Hang them from a few chains attached to a simp... A stripped-down model, sans screened porch, starts out at $79,000. Add the porch, a heated floor for the bath, and all the... Salvaged boards in varying widths and colors make up the dramatic accent wall in this attic space. The high-gloss white of... This garden shed has been decked out to the nines. Designer Orla Kiely created the intimate home for a flower trade show, ...
Newsletter_icon Google_plus Facebook Twitter Pinterest Youtube Rss_icon