COMMUNITY FORUM

shoeless27

10:21AM | 10/03/09
Member Since: 08/11/09
1 lifetime posts
Bvelectrical
I have a room with a ceiling fan and light both controlled by one on/off switch. I bought a dimmer switch that has separate dimming controls one for the light and one for the fan. When I opened the wallbox, I saw three wires attached to my swicth. One was the ground, and the other two were both black. My dimmer switch came with FOUR wires - green, yellow, red, black. I know the green goes with the ground and I was able to match the red and yellow wires according to the diagram, but I do not know what to do with the black wire from the dimmer. It says to attch the black wire to the "feed wire from the circuit breaker." There are a bunch of other wires in the wallbox that are capped and connected with each other. How should I proceed?? Thanks. -Chris

LarryG

02:06PM | 10/03/09
Member Since: 07/22/04
511 lifetime posts
it sounds like to me that you have what is called a switch loop.

the power enters at the fixture,then the hot is looped back through the switch.

that's just my guess but i am curious to hear what others have to say.

TimBonham

12:45AM | 10/04/09
Member Since: 01/09/07
197 lifetime posts
Take off the cover in the ceiling where the light/fan is, and see how many cables, and how many wires each, are in that box.

You need at least 3 wires (not counting grounds) from the switch location to the ceiling location to use your new switch. If you have only 2 (say a switch loop like LarryG mentioned), than you can't make this switch work except by running a new cable from the wall switch to the ceiling. And that's not easy to do in a finished house.

Tom O

03:22AM | 10/04/09
Member Since: 09/17/02
487 lifetime posts
If you do not have the required number of wires at your switch box as mentioned in the previous posts and you don't want to try puling in a new cable, then you might be able to go wireless.

Check with the manufacturer of your fan for a wireless module that would be installed at the fan/light. If the module is available, installation isn't very difficult.
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