How to Replace a Dimmer Switch
Directions for Installing a New Dimmer Switch – There are some brands of dimmer switches that have Master and Slave dimmers, and this has been a problem for a few people because they were totally unaware of the differences even though they appear to be identical.
Checklist for Dimmer Switch Replacement
Electrical Question: I’m trying to replace a three way dimmer switch with the same model. At first the light would not light until the switches were in a certain position. I replaced 3 way with a non dimmer type and the lights work all positions.
I’m not sure what is wrong as it worked before with the dimmer other switch.
This electrical wiring question came from: Mark, a Homeowner from Kissimmee,FL.
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Mark.
Directions for Installing a New Dimmer Switch
Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate.
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 wiring and installing the dimmer switch.
- Be sure that you are not wiring the dimmer switches with the power on because dimmer switches are extremely sensitive and can easily be damaged.
- Be sure that the new dimmer switches are compatible with your type of light fixtures and light bulbs.
- Make sure the dimmer switches are compatible withe each other. Now this may sound surprising however there are some brands of dimmer switches that have Master and Slave dimmers, and this has been a problem for a few people because they were totally unaware of the differences even though they appear to be identical.
- As always, make sure your wiring is correct too. To help you with this I have provided more useful information below.
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.
You Can Avoid Costly Mistakes!
Here's How to Do It:
Wire It Right with the help of my Illustrated Wiring Book
Great for any Home Wiring Project.
Perfect for Homeowners, Students,
Handyman, Handywomen, and Electricians
Wiring GFCI Outlets
Wiring Home Electric Circuits
120 Volt and 240 Volt Outlet Circuits
Wiring Light Switches
Wiring 3-Wire and 4-Wire Electric Range
Wiring 3-Wire and 4-Wire Dryer Cord and Dryer Outlet
How to Troubleshoot and Repair Electrical Wiring
Wiring Methods for Upgrading Electrical Wiring
NEC Codes for Home Electrical Wiring
....and much more.
Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.
Electrical Tips to Help You Wire it Right
The Safest Way to Test Electrical Devices and Identify Electric Wires!
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 that I use to easily Detect 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.
The Quickest Way to Check for Faulty Electrical Wiring!
The Plug-In Outlet Tester
This is the first tool I grab to troubleshoot a problem with outlet circuit wiring. This popular tester is also used by most inspectors to test for power and check the polarity of circuit wiring.
It detects probable improper wiring conditions in standard 110-125 VAC outlets
Provides 6 probable wiring conditions that are quick and easy to read for ultimate efficiency
Lights indicate if wiring is correct and indicator light chart is included
Tests standard 3-wire outlets
Light indicates if wiring is incorrect
Very handy and easy to use.
Strip Off Wire Insulation without Nicking and Damaging the Electric Wire!
The Wire Stripper and Wire Cutter
My absolute favorite wire stripping tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and this is the tool I use to safely strip electrical wires.
This handy tool has multiple uses:
The wire gauges are shown on the side of the tool so you know which slot to use for stripping insulation.
The end of the tool can be used to grip and bend wire which is handy for attaching wire onto the screw terminals of switches and outlets..
The wire stripper will work on both solid and stranded wire. This tool is Very Handy and Easy to Use.