Latest Discussions : Electrical & Lighting


09:40AM | 11/16/05
Member Since: 11/15/05
2 lifetime posts
I am trying to replace a single pole switch that controls and overhead light but also leads to the outlets in another room which I found out only after discounting the switch. I had wanted to replace the switch with a dimmer. There are three black wires entering the switch, one at each screw post terminal and one into the top push in terminal. Now it seems that no matter what combination of wires I try the switch turns both the overhead and the wall recepticles on and off.

Just what do I have here and I have maybe damaged the old switch and that's the problem now? And could I still install a dimmer in this configuration?

Tom O

10:35AM | 11/16/05
Member Since: 09/17/02
476 lifetime posts
Dimmers are not allowed to be connected to receptacle loads.

Of your 3 black wires, only one goes to the light and it should connect to the switch. Of the 2 remaining ones, they should probably be spliced together, along with about a 6" wire pigtail. Connect the pigtail to the other terminal on the switch.

You can determine which wires are which by doing the following: with a voltage tester, determine which wire is the hot one. Turn off the power, connect the hot to one of the remaining 2 blacks, turn on the power & see what works (light or plugs). Now that you know what they do, you should have the hot & receptacle wire pigtailed & the wire for the light by itself.



08:06AM | 11/17/05
Member Since: 11/15/05
2 lifetime posts
worked like a charm, Tom. Thanks

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