Wiring for Lutron and 3-Way Dimmer Switches
How easy would it be for me to replace dimmer switches? How to Wire Lutron Dimmer Switches and Standard 3Way Dimmer Switches.
Wiring Dimmer Switches
Electrical Question: How easy would it be for me to replace dimmer switches?
- They were installed several years back with a 2 gang set up with two low voltage dimmers that are the Master and Slave type.
- Recently one of the switch dimmer paddles broke & the switch would dim when I went to turn it off but would not shut off. Lutron replaced it and I reinstalled with the same problem. In addition, that dimmer seems to get very hot.
- The switch has four wires – a white and black which connect to the white and black from the other switch. A green ground connects to green ground from the other switch.
- The last wire at the top of the switch is yellow and, for one switch attaches to a white wire and for the other switch a black wire both of which I assume lead up to the track lighting.
- There is a blue wire on each switch that is not used. What do you think is wrong?
- How easy would it be for me to replace the dimmers with standard paddle switches & would that fix problem?
This electrical wiring question came from: John, in Mahwah, New Jersey.
Additional Comments: Great website.
Dave’s Reply: Thanks for your electrical wiring question John.
Wiring 3-Way Dimmer Switches
Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate – Best performed by a Licensed Electrician.
Electrical 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.
Notice: Installing additional fixture wiring should be done according to local and national electrical codes with a permit and be inspected.
Electrical Materials: Make sure the replacement light 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 and size light bulbs that are installed.
How to Wire Lutron Dimmer Switches and Standard 3Way Dimmer Switches
- Select Compatible Three Way Switches for the Existing Light Fixtures
When selecting switches for light fixtures you must make sure the 3-way dimmer switches are compatible with the light bulbs that are in the fixtures, the voltage is the same, and the dimmer switch must also be sized properly for the total amount of watts for all the light bulbs that are installed in the fixture.
- Replacing Dimmer Switches
When replacing a dimmer switch make sure to get the exact replacement, but if you have installed additional lamps then the watt rating should be considered and adjusted as needed.
- Replacing Lutron Dimmer Switches
If the Lutron dimmer switches will be replaced with another brand then the necessary wiring will be required in order for the replacement dimmer switches to work.
- Installing Lutron Dimmer Switches
Lutron switches are purchased as sets of switches that work together as Master and Slave switches and can make use of most existing wiring configurations.
- Wiring 3Way Switches
Typically a 3-wire cable with a ground is installed between the two three way light switches. There are several 3-way switch wiring configurations which are based on where the electrical power enters the lighting circuit and the wiring to the light switches.
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I recently installed a 2nd 3way switch to control new recessed led floodlights. Previous there was a 3way switch that controlled the fan/light kit. I ran a 3 wire from the new led dimmer and a 2wire from led dimmer 1 to the new can light, and then connected the rest of the can in sequence, and then I terminated the 2wire at the last can. I have dimmers now on both ends to control the fan. I think I need to ditch one of the fan dimmers.
The Problem: The lights dim fine from both led dimmers but the fan control at switch 2, controls both the lights and fan. Fan switch one works properly. I took power from the fan switch on a jumper to black screw on dimmer 1. Black from 3wire and 2 wire are on gold screw. Red from new 3wireswitch is on blue screw.
Make sure that the jumper is from the unswitched power to avoid having an overriding effect on the fan control switch. Keep in mind that having separate switching for the light and fan individually will require separate wiring from the switch box up to the ceiling fan. Make sure the connections for the fan and light are separate at the switch box.
I hope this helps,