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Electrical Wire and Cable

What To Do About a Warm Dimmer Switch

Why Dimmer Switches May Be Warm or Hot: How to Select the Right Dimmer Switch for Your Light Fixtures.


Warm or Hot Dimmer Switch
Electrical Question: Is it normal for a dimmer switch to be warm?

We have a dimmer switch that gets warm when we turn it on, the wall even gets warm. There are two dimmers on the wall and both get warm. Other dimmers in the house do not do the same. We remodeled with an electrician several years ago and this has occurred since then. Should I be concerned? Call an electrician? It does not seem normal.

Electrical Question #2:

I have a living room dimmer switch where the light flickers or goes out entirely. It will restore by putting pressure on the dimmer unit. The dimmer switch is sensitive to touch. What should I do?

This electrical wiring question came from Mike, a Other in Redmond, Washington.

Dave’s Reply:
Thank you for your electrical questions.

How to Fix a Warm or Hot Dimmer Switch

Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate – Best performed by a Licensed Electrician.
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.

Why a Dimmer Switch May Be Warm or Hot

Selecting the Right Dimmer Switch for Your Light Fixtures

More about Dimmer Switches


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Wiring Methods for Upgrading Electrical Wiring
NEC Codes for Home Electrical Wiring
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Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.

FAQs Frequently Asked Questions and Comments

2 Responses to “What To Do About a Warm Dimmer Switch”
  1. Craig says:

    I want to install a dimmer switch to adjust the lighting from a 4 – bulb (each 400 watt) pendant light, recommendations?

    • Dave Rongey says:

      Hi Craig,
      Make sure the dimmer switch is properly rated for the total watts of all the lights being controlled. A standard 600 watt dimmer switch will not work, however there are dimmer switches that have a higher rating. Also make sure the electric circuit is rated for the load of the lights, and can handle the additional load.
      Be Safe,
      Dave

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