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
1916 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

A sticky keyhole just needs a little lubricant. The problem is that WD-40, spray silicone, and other liquids attract more ... It turns out that many bath and kitchen cleansers contain chemicals that are dangerous to the skin and eyes, and often pro... So often we paint tiny nooks white to make them appear larger, but opting for a dark, dramatic wall color like this one—Be... Chocolate-colored walls and large window frames allow the exposed wood beams to take center stage in this small screened p... If you're not crazy about the idea of commingling plants and pool, this modern variation may be more to your liking. The s... Yes, a freestanding garage can become its own tiny house. Artist Michelle de la Vega has all the comforts of a modern resi... There’s nothing like a new set of cabinet hardware to refresh a room. The possibilities are endless: Go modern, rustic, or... Pursue what's known as the stack effect. To achieve it, open the windows on both the upper and lower floors, and as warm a... Like no other floor type, a checkerboard design works wonders to underscore the retro kitchen theme. Vinyl flooring, ceram... 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... Incorporate nature into your lighting scheme by securing a dead tree in a concrete mold and draping your pendant lamp from... For the cost of a can of exterior paint , you can totally transform your porch. Paint the floor a hue that complements yo... In this urban apartment, a standard-issue patio became a serene and green perch by replacing the typical concrete with gro... If you put the washing machine in the mudroom, you can stop the kids from walking through the house in dirty, grass-staine...
Newsletter_icon Google_plus Facebook Twitter Pinterest Youtube Rss_icon