Dimmer Switch Wiring and 3-Way Switches
How to Wire Dimmer Switches and 3Way Switches: Electrical Tips about Wiring 3Way Dimmers and Switches.
Wiring 3-Way Dimmer Switches
Electrical Question: If you install a 2-way dimmer into a 3-way switch does this create any problem?
- I installed the dimmer and it operates just fine, however the 1-way switch in the down position is power on, and up position is power off.
- If the power is off on the 1-way, you cannot turn the dimmer switch on.
This electrical question came from: Ryan , a Homeowner from Parsippany, New Jersey.
Additional Comments: Thanks!
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Ryan .
How to Wire Dimmer Switches and 3-Way Switches
Application: Wiring Dimmer Switches.
Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate – Best if wired by a Licensed Electrical Contractor.
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 3Way Dimmers and Switches
- Ryan, right away I see a terminology problem with your description, and believe me, you are not alone.
- Several electrical devices are labeled or identified for electricians and relate to electrical wiring and this leaves most homeowners grappling for understanding.
- First of all, most dimmer switches are now made for both single switch and 3-way switch applications.
- Three way switching involves only two switches, the label or name has to do with how they are wired.
- From the information you have provides, you have two switches, one is the new dimmer, and it works when the switch is in a certain position, but not the reverse. this indicates that the dimmer switch has been wired incorrectly, but your close, and typically the two traveler wires that actually do the switching just need to be reversed.
- If this does not work, then the wiring will need to be identified so the travelers may be connected in the right position.
Tips for Wiring the Switches
- Always record the wiring of the original switch before taking all the wires apart.
- If a dimmer switch is to be installed then the switch wiring will need to be transposed over to the dimmer switch lead wires. The dimmer switch lead wires are generally identified.
More about Wiring 3Way Dimmer Switches
- Easy to Understand 3 Way Switch Diagrams
- 3 Way Switch Diagrams Fully Explained. Detailed Electrical Wiring Diagrams and Pictures assist your Home Electrical Projects.
- 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.
Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.
The Safest Way to Test Electrical Devices and Identify Electric Wiring!The Non-Contact Electrical Tester
This is a testing tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and is the first test tool I grab to help identify electrical wiring. It is a Non-contact tester, [amazon.com], I use for the detection of Standard Voltage in Cables, Cords, Circuit Breakers, Lighting Fixtures, Switches, Outlets and Wires. Simply insert the end of the tester into an outlet, lamp socket, or hold the end of the tester against the wire you wish to test. Very handy and easy to use.
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