Wiring Trouble

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by jperna, Nov 13, 2007.

  1. jperna

    jperna New Member

    Nov 13, 2007
    HI all, i am replacing a switch with a dimmer, the room currently has track lighting, and recently added 2 high hats, all on the same circuit. My problem is that i have 3 black wires to attach and only 2 black wires on the dimmer. I also bought a 3 way switch, but that didn't seem to work either, Any suggestions?
  2. Alectrician

    Alectrician DIY Senior Member

    Jun 15, 2007

    Could be a number of scenarios. You will need a voltage tester or work it hot and touch some stuff together.

    Is there another switch that also contriols the lights?

    If not, it is likely that one of the 3 wires will be hot and the other two will be switch legs going to the track and the added cans.

    All a switch does is connect the hot wire to the switched wire. If you touch the hot to the switch leg, it will spark and the light will come on.

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  4. Speedy Petey

    Speedy Petey Licensed Electrical Contractor

    Jun 16, 2007
    Licensed Electrical Contractor
    NY State, USA
    What are you trying to attach to what??? Telling us you "have 3 black wires" does not do us much good if we don't know where they go and what they control/feed.

    Can you tell us how the old switch was wired?
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Aug 31, 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona

    If the dimmer only has two black wires then one is the feed and the other is the load. As far as which wires each of them attach to, that depends on what the three black wires do, and that we cannot tell you without testing them. AND if you have three way circuit, you probably need three way dimmer, and if you do not then you cannot use a three way switch.
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