Dimmer switch

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Deano1111
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Joined: Tue Jul 09, 2019 4:38 pm

Dimmer switch

Post by Deano1111 » Tue Jul 09, 2019 4:44 pm

Installing a new light fixture and switch. The power feed line has black, white and bare copper. Does the switch use only black wire ie. Install the switch breaking the black feed wire only?

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Aaron
Posts: 3418
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2015 4:03 pm
Location: St. Paul, MN

Re: Dimmer switch

Post by Aaron » Tue Jul 09, 2019 5:45 pm

How many cables are in the switch box? The switch (whether dimmer or normal on/off) generally only uses the hot (black).

But sometimes the white wire is used as a hot in a switch loop type of light switch circuit, so you will see this already connected to the on/off switch you are replacing. In this case the white wire should have black tape wrapped around its insulation or marked with a black band with a black marker. If not, do so yourself to indicate the white wire is NOT a neutral.

In any case, you can connect the dimmer the same way as an on/off toggle switch you are replacing. Only the fancy switches with timers or occupancy sensors won't work with a switch-loop circuit (since they require a neutral).

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