Compare the figure you get with the volume of your existing box. You will need a dimmer that's rated for at least 150 watts. Remove the old switch from the wall, carefully unwrapping the wires from the rubber section. Use a wire cap to seal the final wire and prevent it touching the other wires. Check your new dimmer package for dimensions to make sure it will fit. Most dimmers have a fourth wire for a second traveler connection. Place the loop clockwise around the screw terminals and close the loop around the screws with the needle nose pliers. Single pole switches will have 3 wires: a hot lead wire, a ground wire and a traveler wire. I don’t have any instruction for it. Carefully fold the wires and gently tuck them into the box. With the power off, connect the black hot wire to the old switch. Other dimmers have screw terminals instead of the attached stranded wires to the new dimmer. It doesn't matter if you reverse the two switch wires to a single-pole dimmer. For example, if you have two 75-watt lights, your total load is 150. Single pole switches are your standard light switches. Fold the wires neatly into the box. Put a wrap of black tape around the white conductor to label it as a hot wire. Plus, learn how to troubleshoot a dead outlet here. Before touching the original light switch. While we recommend hiring an electrician when possible, dimmer switches are one of the easier swaps you can do yourself. The full guide for single-pole and 3-way switches. The light will either turn on or it won't. Bend the ground wire back onto the clip and squeeze it down tight so it won't interfere with the dimmer switch. Check the manufacturer’s specifications on the package to be sure. Press a grounding clip and 6-in. Remove all wires from the 4-way switch and cap both red wires with wire nuts. Unscrew the switchplate and save if you are reusing it. Screw the dimmer switch onto the electrical box by threading the mounting screws into the threaded openings on the box. Bend the top wire upwards of the box and the bottom wire toward the bottom of the box so you will know where they get connected on the dimmer switch. Connect the ground wire to the corresponding wire on your dimmer. The ground wire is typically green or copper and should be connect to the bottom, center wire on your dimmer. As the screws tighten, the switch will nudge the wires deeper into the box. Check the outlets and remaining light switches in the room to make sure the outlet connections were not disturbed in the process. House Beautiful participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites. 10 Look inside the electrical box that held the ceiling fan switch. We are no longer supporting IE (Internet Explorer) as we strive to provide site experiences for browsers that support new web standards and security practices. Usually, two wires will be black and one will be green. The National Electrical Code specifies minimum box sizes to reduce this risk. Step 2: Choose a smart light switch. Open the dimmer switch and strip the rubber coating from the wires. Heavy-duty 1,000- and 1,500-watt dimmers are also readily available. If your box is too small, replace it with a larger one. Test the wires with the voltmeter to triple-check voltage levels. Attach these two wires to the two brass switch terminals. They control the electricity to one light source. Wrap the wires in electrical tape until the 12-3 NM is securely attached to the wires in the ceiling. Some wiring systems, like ours, rely on a metal conduit for the ground. Then read the dimmer package to make sure it can handle the load. They are usually marked red in the wall, but can be black and otherwise taped or marked off. Connect either one of the remaining dimmer wires, to either one of the remaining cable wires and put on a wire nut. Turn off your electricity before proceeding with the steps listed. When installing your dimmer, remember electricity flows into it on one side and out on the other side. square of drywall or plaster and patching it after the new large box is installed. 1. Make sure the switch is clear of any debris and turn on the electricity at the main fuse box. Here are the top 10 electrical mistakes people make and how to fix what you find. If the light can be switched on and off from two or more switches, buy a three-way dimmer switch. Lastly, remove the ground wire and toss out the old three-way switch. Connect the two black (one wire may be red with a white stripe) wires to the traveler wires in your wall, typically marked with a white or black rubber finish. The dimmer switch has 2 black wires and one red. Too many wires and devices stuffed into a box can cause dangerous overheating, short-circuiting and fires. Tip: If the circuit breaker is labeled “15 amp, ” the wires are probably 14-gauge, or 12-gauge for 20-amp circuit breakers. Aside from the single pole vs. three-way distinction, you have several different options for the look of the dimmer switch. Turn the power back on. Expose at least 1 - 2 inches of copper wire to ensure a tight seal with the wall wires. Remove the 2 wires from the existing switch by cutting them with diagonal pliers or other suitable device, or loosen the screw terminals as required. We've listed the volume of the most common steel boxes in the chart above. We make it even easier with the Lutron Wiring Wizard, an interactive tool that provides installation guidance in multiple ways – videos specific to your type of dimmer, a step-by-step interactive guide, and a PDF of the wiring diagram. Finish the job by installing the cover plate and turning on the power to test the new dimmer. 2. Whether you’re looking to add a light fixture or run rough electric for an addition, here are 10 key facts that your electrician wishes you knew. Connect the final black wire to the remaining traveler wire in your wall, typically marked with a white or black rubber finish. Fold the wires neatly into the box. But installing a dimmer switch is a little more involved than simply swapping out a few wires. I will create a future article covering that scenario. Also, if you have aluminum wiring, don't mess with it! Read the package if you'll be installing dimmers side by side in the same electrical box because the wattage rating is reduced to compensate for extra heat buildup. It depends on the dimmer switch. To replace a standard switch with a dimmer switch, follow these steps: Turn off the power to the switch at the circuit or fuse panel. Once you are done with the LED dimmer installation, mount the cover plate and secure it with wall plate screws. Multiply this figure by 2 for 14-gauge wire and 2.25 for a 12-gauge wire to get the minimum box volume in cubic inches. This may indicate a dangerous switched neutral. You will find a red and black wire connected to the switch. Call in a licensed pro who is certified to work with it. (see lights and switches) Although there was none there, we have added a red indicator to the black wire. Add up the wattage of all the light bulbs you'll be dimming. We recommend just removing about a 16-in. Turn on the light and have a helper watch as you switch off the circuit breakers, or unscrew the fuses one at a time until the light goes out. Install dimmer switch. here are 10 key facts that your electrician wishes you knew. Call an electrician if the original switch is connected to two white wires. Houses wired with plastic-sheathed cable almost always have bare copper ground wires that you'll connect to the toggle dimmer switch. Finally, you have to use a special device, not a dimmer, to control the speed of ceiling fans and motors. Hold the wires together with the stranded wire protruding about 1/8 in. To help determine the gauge of the wire in your switch box, look at the amperage of the circuit breaker or fuse in the main electrical panel. If you have a steel box, measure the height, width and depth of it to determine the box volume and consult the chart to see if it's large enough. Match the size of the wire connector you’re using to the size and number of wires being connected. Test it again for a ground. For 3-way switches be sure to check the on/off switches at both light switches. Screw the dimmer to the box with the screws provided. If you have less than three wires, stop and call an electrician. Both of these wires are live wires when the circuit is reconnected. Wrap the ground wire around the green screw at the bottom of the standard switch. The dimmer buttons will not work on either switch until the two smart switches are linked in the C by GE app. Our step-by-step instructions will show you how to install the dimming switch, concentrating on details that will guarantee a safe installation. Our latest shed is also a pavilionâand you can build it, too! Deals We Love: Christmas Tree Storage Bags, Vintage Family Handyman Feature from 1986: New Building Techniques for Remodelers, Vintage Family Handyman from 1983: Housing Shapes To Come, learn how to troubleshoot a dead outlet here. Dimmer Switch mechanism. Turn off the power again before proceeding. 44 Very Merry Christmas Table Decorations, Ty Pennington Just Got His Own Show on HGTV, This Video Shows How to Wrap a Gift Without Tape, This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. First, connect the ground wire to the corresponding wire on your dimmer. Lutron dimmer switch wiring diagram 3 way wiring diagram ge 3 way dimmer switch wiring a 3 way dimmer in single pole lication with wire dimmer switch wiring electrical 101 27c dimmer switch wiring diagram for lamps library wiring diagram ge 3 way dimmer switch. Steel box capacities are listed in the electrical code. Make sure the electricity is turned off at the main fuse box before proceeding. The steps are basically the same for how to install a switch. Step 11: Place the Dimmer’s Cover Plate. If your wires are solid copper, create a loop in the end of the wire with the pliers and guide it around the screw on the side of the dimmer. We may earn commission on some of the items you choose to buy. Turn off power and connect the corresponding wires from the junction box with the Insteon Wall Switch an cap them with wire nuts. Just be sure to turn the electricity off at your main fuse box before proceeding with the instructions below! Finish the job by installing the cover plate and turning on the power to test the new dimmer. Have an older home with a single pole switch? The ground wire is typically green or copper and should be connected to the bottom, center wire on your dimmer. Pull the dimmer switch out of the wall, and remove the wire splice connectors using a common screwdriver. Plus, learn how to change a single-pole switch to a 3-way switch. Take box cutter to widen the space in the drywall and accommodate the new switch before installing. of insulation from the end of the wires. These are more common in new builds to allow for transition in open concept spaces, but can also be found in midcentury homes that brought open concept living to life. Push the wiring and the three-way dimmer into the switch box connecting it at the top and the bottom of the box with screws provided with the dimmer. Clip off the bent end of each wire with the wire cutter. Connect the white wire on the iDevices Dimmer Switch to the neutral wire (usually white) in the gang box and cap with a wire nut. Dimmer switches are always on the list of best quick home upgrades for a reason: The cheap, quick addition can help lower your electricity bill and instantly elevate the mood of your space, day and night. From removing the old light switch to correctly wiring the new unit, here is a quick guide on how to install a dimmer switch in your home. Wiring a Dimmer switch is as simple as Wiring a 2-way switch. Older homes may only have a hot lead and a ground wire. The two wires currently connected together on your existing switch should be again connected together on your new switch. If the switch you're replacing is the only switch controlling the light, buy a standard single-pole dimmer. The wires are held in place by screws, often called "terminals." The installation of a dimmer switch usually starts by removing the existing switch. The black and red wires in the other bundle (four-wire), entering the box from up top, are the travelers (wires from the other switch). Plus, they're good for the environment. To figure the minimum box size required by the electrical code, add 1 for each hot and neutral wire entering the box, 1 for all the ground wires combined, 1 for all the clamps combined, and 2 for each device (switch or receptacle) installed in the box. Here are the top 10 electrical mistakes people make and how to fix what you find. But if you're replacing a three-way switch with a three-way dimmer, label the “common” wire (it'll be labeled on the old switch) when you remove the old switch so you can connect it to the “common” terminal on the dimmer. Ensure that you have cut the power to the area you are woking on. BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING: STEP 1 ... Before disconnecting the wires from the switch, label each wire with the provided labels. Then tie the 2 black wires along with the black "Line" wire on the iDevices Dimmer Switch together with a wire nut. We will handle the app setup in STEP 12. If it is, attach a short ground wire to the metal box with either a metal grounding clip or a green grounding screw screwed into the threaded hole in the back of the box. Hold the tip of a non-contact voltage detector near each screw terminal to be sure the power is off. When the circuit’s power is turned on, any of these may be “hot,” depending upon how the switches are toggled. Remove 3/4 inch of casing from the end of the house wires and the dimmer switch wires, if needed. Install Insteon Wall Switch, attach the wall plate and turn on power. To install the dimmer, read the instructions to make sure you’re clear on what wires go where and which is the top and which is the bottom. But you won't be able to dim the lights from every switch location unless you buy a set of special dimmers with advanced electronics and install one at each switch location. Install the dimmer cover plate and turn the circuit breaker to the “On” position inside the main electrical service panel. Screw the dimmer to the box with the screws provided. Step 12: Test the Dimmer Switch Twist a plastic wire connector clockwise onto the wires to connect them. Screw the new box into the wall. They will need to be pushed as far back as possible to make room for the switch body. Installing a Lutron dimmer switch is easy It only takes about 15 minutes, 3 steps and 1 screwdriver. If you can turn your lights off using a different switch than the one you used to turn them on, skip down to the 3-way switch section. But test first using a neon voltage tester to verify that the wire is connected to a ground. Older or historic homes can have different wiring and need special care to install. Every item on this page was hand-picked by a House Beautiful editor. Remove the dimmer switch from the box. Green wire: Attach to the bonded ground wire(s) in the switch box. With the switch off, test for voltage to determine if the lone wire, on the bottom of the switch, is the hot (line) or if the two connected wires, on the top, are together the hot (line). If your dimmer switch is too large for the box space, use a measuring tape to gage the difference. The tools you’ll need to install a toggle dimmer switch are inexpensive and will come in handy for all your electrical projects. If you're just replacing an already existing 2-way switch, then your objective should be as easy as swapping the wires from one switch to the other. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io, How to Make an Easy No-Sew Window Seat Cushion, 3 Easy Painter's Tape Ideas to Try This Weekend, How to DIY Gorgeous Shibori Cocktail Napkins, 30 Fall Wreaths That Celebrate the Season in Style. To remove the wires, unscrew the screws and pull the wire off of the body of the screw. Test the new dimmer switch by turning on and off, dimming as you go. Cut away a little bit of drywall under the box to provide clearance for the clip. Make sure the electricity is turned off at the main fuse box before proceeding! Some dimmers, like the one we're installing, have stranded wires attached. But one of the wires may be white if your house is wired with plastic-sheathed cable. New dimmers have either a green grounding wire or a green ground screw that you'll have to connect to a grounding source if one is available. We prefer this type of tester because it'll detect voltage without direct contact with the metal conductor. Disconnect both wires from the middle switch and cap each one with a wire nut Turn on the circuit breaker Carefully remove the wire nut from one of the disconnected wires and touch it to the hot terminal on the left switch - if the living room recessed lights come on, that was the LOAD wire - … You have a single pole switch if you can only turn on/off your lights using a singular switch. Sign up for our newsletter! This wiring is dull gray, not the dull orange that's characteristic of copper. A two-way dimmer switch has three wires coming out of the back. Open the dimmer switch and strip the rubber coating from the wires. Wiring a Standard 3-Way Dimmer Switch. Good Luck, Volt-Ron After you unscrew the switch and pull it away from the box, probe around inside the box with the detector to make sure there are no other hot wires from another circuit. Step #3. Then place the leads of a voltage tester between each screw terminal and the metal box. Push the wires into the box, being careful not to dislodge the connections and make space for the dimmer box. Most fluorescent lights can't be dimmed without altering the fixture. We recommend our users to update the browser. Next, connect the red wire to the hot lead wire and cap them together. beyond the solid wire. A good dimmer switch can be a real game-changer in any room. We're using a non-contact voltage detector to double-check for voltage before removing the dimming switch. As always, green denotes the ground or copper wire. Then tighten the screws. To begin, turn off the power and double-check for hot wires in the box. If the switch box is small or has a lot of wires in it, you may need to upgrade to a larger box so the dimmer fits in without cramming it against the wires. Here are the steps for wiring a three-way dimmer switch: If the house wires are bent, use a wire stripper to cut off the twisted ends. For instance, the Lutron P-PKG1W-WH-R Smart Lighting Dimmer Switch will work without a neutral wire, but it does require its own bridge. But while you’re at it, to make your home safer, you should upgrade the wiring to meet the latest requirements of the National Electrical Code. 3. 3-WAY or MULTI-WAY SWITCH INSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONS . Needle-nose pliers can help wrap and secure the wire in tight spaces. Remove the two black wires (or the black and taped white wires) and bend them out of the way. Attach the dimmer to the box with the help of mounting screws provided. In most cases, the two switch wires will be some color other than green or white, usually black. Plastic boxes have their volume stamped inside. Then connect it to the dimmer. Stop twisting when the connector is snug. Complete DIY projects like a pro! If testing reveals your box isn't grounded, you can still install the dimmer, but you must use a plastic cover plate and make sure no bare metal parts are exposed. Use a plastic wire cap to secure the two wires after wrapping, protecting the connection and ensuring a tight seal. There are several types of dimmer switches out there. The wall switch has two whites together caped, two blacks in the switch, and then the green. Two Red wires: These wires attach to the "travelers" which are the pair of wires attached to the two screws at one end of the regular 3-way-switch. If you’re replacing a three-way dimmer with another three-way dimmer, label the cable wires as you remove them, so you can connect the new dimmer the same way the old one was connected. If it is a 3-way switch you will have to replace it with a 3-way dimmer switch. 3-way switches allow for multiple switches to control the same light source. of the insulated covering from the wires in the box and bend a loop in each with needle-nose pliers. With a three-way switch, three wires connect the pair of switches—two black “traveler” wires and a third “common” wire. Do Not Sell My Personal Information â CA Residents. For the dimmers with screw terminals, strip 3/4 in. Connect the ground wire from your dimmer to a … 3-Way Dimmer Switches typically come with the following pre-wired leads. How to install a Dimmer switch. However, it might have one red, one white and one green or one black, one white and one green. It doesn't matter if you reverse the two switch wires to a single-pole dimmer. 3-way switches are also marked with four wires in the wall outlet: a ground wire, a hot lead wire and two travelers to allow for a connection to another switch or outlet. Fifteen-amp circuits are usually wired with 14-gauge wire and 20-amp circuits require 12-gauge or heavier wire. Most dimmers are designed to handle 600 watts. Unscrew and detach all of the wires from the old switch. Connect either of the other two black wires to the other screw on the switch. The screws are tightened to clamp onto the exposed end of the wire, completing the circuit and powering the switch. Most dimmers come with a plate to fit the new dimensions, but some are made to fit standard plates. Finish with the included light plate or replace the old light plate and screw tight. Expose at least 1 - 2 inches of copper wire to ensure a tight seal with the wall wires. If the tester lights, the box is grounded. 4. Turn the power back on and turn the switch on. Unscrew the switch from the electrical box and pull it out with the wires … Strip 3/8 in. That's huge—it means you can check potentially hot wires before you handle them. After connecting the wires, carefully and neatly tuck them back to the electrical box. If you have one of these systems, test the metal box with a neon voltage tester to verify that it's grounded. If it’s a single control dimmer then normally the white wire is your hot to the dimmer and the black is the return to power the light. 7 Savvy Answers to Common Questions About Smart Light Switches, Installing a Remote Motion Detector for Lighting, Wireless Electrical Switch: Battery-Free, Finger Powered Switch, How to Replace a Well Pump Pressure Switch, Prevent Mold with the DewStop Bathroom Fan Switch, Check the Wattage Before You Install a Dimmer Switch, We are no longer supporting IE (Internet Explorer). , unscrew the screws with the stranded wire protruding about 1/8 in it will fit latest! P-Pkg1W-Wh-R smart Lighting dimmer switch hot wire, we have added a indicator. Smart switches are linked in the switch on plastic wire cap to seal the final wire! 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Switch before installing can check potentially hot wires in the same light source off of house. Add dimmer switch is how to install a dimmer switch with 3 wires of any debris and turn on power,... Are done with the included light plate or replace the old three-way switch plate and turn on power National! The final wire and 20-amp circuits require 12-gauge or heavier wire wire for a 12-gauge wire the... Learn how to change a single-pole switch to a 3-way dimmer switch is easy only. Do ANYTHING: STEP 1... before disconnecting the wires from the wall and! Need a dimmer, remember electricity flows into it on one side and out on switch... 14-Gauge wire and a ground wire around the screws provided help wrap and secure it with a larger.... Listed in the switch, concentrating on details that will guarantee a safe installation color other than green or,! Wire cutter the 12-3 NM is securely attached to the toggle dimmer switch is small! Red and black wire to ensure a tight seal with the help of mounting screws provided on your switch! Stamped inside, usually black and out on the package to make sure it can handle load. Wire splice connectors using a singular switch, learn how to change single-pole! Exposed end of the wall, and then the green screw at the main electrical service panel as. Copper and should be connected to a … 1 to test the new large box is installed only takes 15. To seal the final wire and cap both red wires with the ``! Off, dimming as you go have cut the power and double-check for hot wires in electrical tape until two. Wires, unscrew the screws and pull the dimmer switch wiring Diagram Question. Instructions will show you how to troubleshoot a dead outlet here or plaster and patching it after the new.... Attach the dimmer switch … 1 typically marked with a neon voltage tester between screw! Light source it on one side and out on the other side sizes to reduce this.... Inside, usually black ours, rely on a wire cap to secure the two black along... Wrap the wires deeper into the box and bend a loop in each with needle-nose pliers and.... Are live wires when the circuit and powering the switch connections were not disturbed in the same way they been!