Light Switch Wiring Help

Discussion in 'XDTalk Chatter Box' started by sprigfan, Jan 20, 2013.

  1. sprigfan

    sprigfan XDTalk Member

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    Hello everyone,

    Let me begin by saying I bought my first house this past summer, and I know very very little about electrical matters.

    Here is my elementary issue:

    I am wanting to replace 2 dimmer switches with 1 dimmer switch and 1 standard single pole switch in the same box. Each switch controls a separate light (no fans).

    Based on the photos below, can anyone explain how to do this properly?

    I think what is throwing me off is the red wire and the black wire that directly connects the 2 switches. Are the wires on the left leading to the fixtures, while the wires on the right are supplying the current?

     

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  2. js12278

    js12278 XDTalk 4K Member

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    Are you going to control the same lights that are currently controlled?
     
  3. Duane

    Duane XDTalk 1K Member

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    Respectfully, you should have someone who knows what they're doing, do it for you.

    Any 'how to do it yourself" advice that you'll find here, or anywhere else on the internet is DANGEROUS.

    Duane
     
  4. sprigfan

    sprigfan XDTalk Member

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    Yes, all I want to do is swap out the switches. Both lights are controlled only at this location.
     
  5. Jimmycrackcorn

    Jimmycrackcorn XDTalk 500 Member

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    There is a third wire on the dimmer for 3way applications. You will have to read the directions to figure out which one. You can cap that wire off. There should be only two wires that will go to the new switch. One will be power, the other will be the switch leg. Can you post a better picture of the switch box? That us the best I can do for you.

    Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
     
  6. js12278

    js12278 XDTalk 4K Member

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    Agreed, need to see a bit more into that box
     
  7. sprigfan

    sprigfan XDTalk Member

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    How's this photo? The 3way wire is the red&white pictured above. The standard switch will go on the left, the dimmer on the right.
     

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  8. Jimmycrackcorn

    Jimmycrackcorn XDTalk 500 Member

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    It looks to me the black wire next to the red wire is the power wire. The power wire feeds both switches. The red wire goes to the light. The wire that goes out the bottom of the box goes to the other light. Hope this helps.

    Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
     
  9. db_xd

    db_xd XDTalk 100 Member

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    House wiring rule is: White is cool, Black is death... Red is other.
    Seriously, if you have to ask, get someone to help you at your house.
     
  10. bijou

    bijou XDTalk 3K Member

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    +1

    120V won't kill you, but it can ruin your day (and your house)
     
  11. Fastoyz

    Fastoyz XDTalk Member

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  12. OKcherokee

    OKcherokee XDTalk 20K Member

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    Be sure to lick your fingers before touching any bare wires.....
     
  13. wisekise

    wisekise XDTalk 100 Member

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    This is not true.
    120v can kill you, it just depends on the load (amps) of the circuit and how it travels through your body. It only takes .5amps @120volts accross your heart to kill you.
    Typically a shock from a household circuit does nothing more than scare and piss a person off but it definitely has potential to kill depending on various circumstances.
     
  14. sprigfan

    sprigfan XDTalk Member

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    jimmycrackcorn and fastoyz, thank you very much!
     
  15. wisekise

    wisekise XDTalk 100 Member

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    Typically the 2 red wires on the dimmer are the "travelers" , just cap one of the red wires and use the black and the remaining red wire to control the light, any 3way switch can be used as a single pole switch by not using one of the traveler connections, btw on a 3way switch with screws the dark colored screw is used for incoming power or outgoing (switch-leg) power.
    Good luck, and be sure to turn the circuit off prior to working on it.

     

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