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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


» 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.


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Includes:
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
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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.

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.
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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.

« Planning and Installing Recessed Can Light Fixtures Replacing Wall Outlets »

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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