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Electrical Wire and Cable

How to Replace a 3 Way Switch with a 3 Way Dimmer Switch

How to Wire 3Way Dimmer Switches: Common 3Way Dimmer Switch Wire Connections and Light Level Adjustments, Wiring Two 3Way Dimmer Switches.

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How to Wire a GFCI Outlet without a Ground Wire

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Guide for Wiring a 3 Way Dimmer Switch
Electrical Question: I replaced the switch that we use most often with a dimmer switch. Now the switch that does not have the dimmer has to be on in order for the dimmer switch to work.


This electrical wiring question came from: Robert, a Homeowner from Gloucester, Virginia.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electric wiring question Robert.

How to Wire a 3Way Dimmer Switch

Application: Wiring for a 3Way Dimmer Switch.
Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate. This electrical work is best performed 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 lighting circuit, turn it OFF and  Tag it with a Note before wiring the new dimmer.

3Way Dimmer Switch Wire Connections

More about Wiring a 3Way Dimmer Switch

Wiring a switch
Wiring a Light Switch – Diagram 1

Wiring a dimmer switch

See More information about 3 Way Switch Diagram
3 Way Switch Diagram
3 Way Switch Diagram

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Wiring GFCI Outlets
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Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
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FAQs Frequently Asked Questions and Comments

2 Responses to “How to Replace a 3 Way Switch with a 3 Way Dimmer Switch”
  1. Max Tarakhovsky says:

    I am trying to replace one of the 3-way light switches with a Lutron Dimmer switch (Lutron Maestro 1-1/4-Amp Light Almond Digital Dimmer, Model #: MACL-153MH-LA). I am not sure what I am doing wrong, but unless I turn on the other 3-way light switch, dimmer switch does not work. The other concern, what if this Lutron dimmer switch can only replace 3-way light switch, which gets the AC power line.
    Please help!
    Thank you very much!

  2. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Max,
    The Lutron Maestro dimmer is a great high quality dimmer switch, however when more than one switch will be installed in the same area or room, you must install the Lutron Maestro compatible switch as well for the other switch locations as well, because the Maestro dimmer is not compatible with a standard 3-way switch, or with other non Lutron brand dimmer switches. The good thing is that the Lutron Maestro dimmers are great for retrofitting any room, and you may add up to 10 companion dimmers as well. So Max, you will need to purchase one more Lutron Maestro switch to replace your other standard switch, and then you will be able to enjoy all the features of the Maestro dimmer switch.
    I hope this helps,