Help For Your Dimmer Switch Wiring

By Dave Rongey - Summary:

How to Wire a Dimmer Switch: Dimmer Switch Wiring, Dimmer switch wiring diagrams, Wiring a 3-way dimmer switch.

Electrical Wiring for a Dimmer Switch

Wiring a Dimmer: I’ve run power using a 12/2 cable to a combination GFCI Outlet and Light Switch.

  • From there I’ve run 12/3 wire over to a dimmer. From the dimmer I’ve connected 3 recessed lights.
  • The GFCI reset switch pops and I can run an electric tool from the outlet but I can’t seem to figure out the combination to send the power through the switch to the dimmer and to the lights.
  • The dimmer is two pole. I thought that was my first problem – trying to wire a single pole dimmer – but I can’t figure out the two pole dimmer either.
  • I’m using the correct bulbs (another problem I encountered in the past).
  • This is a new house so no drywall or insulation is in the way and yes, it’s mine. Thanks in advance for any advice.

Additional Comments: I like the website. I’ve used your advice many times in wiring my new home and I’ll probably be back many more!

Thank you for the great advice and information! Dave.
Background: Dave, a Homeowner from Hopkinsville, KY.

Thanks for your Electrical Wiring Question Dave, and thanks for being a regular at Ask-The-electrician, I’m glad I can help you out!

Electrical Answer:

How to Wire a Dimmer Switch

Application: Replacing Dimmer Switch
Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate.
Tools Required: Electricians Tool Pouch set up with Hand Tools for Rough-In Electrical Wiring
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools and Voltage Tester.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience and ability to work with tools.
Precaution: Identify the light circuit, turn it OFF and  Tag it with a Note before working with the dimmer switch wiring.
Materials: Make sure the replacement dimmer switch has the same amperage and voltage rating as the original switch, and is fully compatible with the electrical circuit, the light fixture and the type of light bulbs being used. The dimmer switch must be rated for the  amount of watts that will be controlled.

Wiring a Dimmer Switch

  • 3 Way Dimmer Switch wiring diagrams to help you wire a single or 3-way dimmer switch.
  • Don’t get confused with dimmer switch wiring. As mentioned, a double pole dimmer switch is really a 3way dimmer switch, which is wired the same as a standard 3-way toggle switch.
  • If you are replacing a standard single switch that is not a 3way switch with a dimmer, then you may notice that most all dimmer switches are now pre-wired to be used as either a single dimmer switch or a 3way dimmer switch.
  • When wiring the dimmer as a single switch one wire will be capped off and not used. Detailed information and wiring diagrams that will help you out and get your lights shining  bright.

Dimmer Switch Wiring Diagrams

Dimmer Switch Wiring
3 Way Dimmer Switch Wiring Diagram
Fully explained 3 way dimmer switch wiring diagram will take the mystery out of wiring a 3-way dimmer switch.

Light Switch Wiring
Wiring Diagrams

Recessed Lighting
How To Install Recessed Lighting
This article is about recessed lighting for your home electrical improvements. Discover how recessed lighting can enhance the mood of any room in your home.

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