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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    32

    Default New dimmer doesn't dim

    I recently replaced an older dimer (likely mid to late-1980s age) with a new Leviton slider dimmer (model IPI06). This is a three way switch and the dimmer controls the light fixture on the ceiling fan. A second switch in the box controls the fan, and a second set of switches in an adjacent room independently control the same light and fan.

    I wired the new dimmer in and it will turn the fan light on and off, but will not dim, even after I followed the instructions and used the small dimming adjustment screw.

    I have a basic knowledge of wiring and the instructions included with the dimmer are not the greatest. The box contains a ground (green), white, black, and red wires; the dimmer has two reds (one of which is used only with a 3-way switch), a green, and a black. I connected the two blacks, the two greens, two of the reds, and the box neutral (white) and the second red wire. After no dimming, I switched the two reds from the dimmer around and got the same result. Trying to avoid calling my FIL (he's an electrician). Any ideas here?

    Thanks
    -Daryl, learning how to keep up with an 80 year old house in PA

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Columbiana, Alabama
    Posts
    792

    Default Re: New dimmer doesn't dim

    Since the light can be controlled (on & off) the dimmer may be bad, wired wrong or the bulb is a compact fluorescent and can't be dimmed.

    Maurice Turgeon, thesemi-retiredelectrician.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The Great White North
    Posts
    4,045

    Default Re: New dimmer doesn't dim

    Quote Originally Posted by valleyboy View Post
    I recently replaced an older dimer (likely mid to late-1980s age) with a new Leviton slider dimmer (model IPI06). This is a three way switch and the dimmer controls the light fixture on the ceiling fan. A second switch in the box controls the fan, and a second set of switches in an adjacent room independently control the same light and fan.

    I wired the new dimmer in and it will turn the fan light on and off, but will not dim, even after I followed the instructions and used the small dimming adjustment screw.

    I have a basic knowledge of wiring and the instructions included with the dimmer are not the greatest. The box contains a ground (green), white, black, and red wires; the dimmer has two reds (one of which is used only with a 3-way switch), a green, and a black. I connected the two blacks, the two greens, two of the reds, and the box neutral (white) and the second red wire. After no dimming, I switched the two reds from the dimmer around and got the same result. Trying to avoid calling my FIL (he's an electrician). Any ideas here?

    Thanks
    Perhaps I'm misunderstanding what you posted --- did you connect the second red wire on the dimmer to the white neutral ?
    If so, you don't do that.
    The red wires on the dimmer are the travellers in a three way switched circuit.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: New dimmer doesn't dim

    Thanks for your replies, gents. To answer semi, the bulbs are incandescents, and after trying multiple combinations of wire to wire, I always got the light to come on, but was unable to dim it. I'm going to return the new dimmer unit, as the only thing I can conclude is that I got a bad unit (not the first time; ask me how many times I've purchased GFCI's that have not worked out of the box or have failed within an unreasonably short amount of time).

    Canuk: if I don't connect one of the reds to the box white, then what do I do with it? The wiring between the box and the old dimmer was as such: black to black, green to green, red1 to red, red2 to white.

    Thanks
    -Daryl, learning how to keep up with an 80 year old house in PA

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Brown county, Ohio
    Posts
    52

    Smile Re: New dimmer doesn't dim

    Ok the way i understand this is you have a 3 way dimmer on one side and a switch on the other side. Which one is the return and which one is the line side. I would ring out my wires and make sure i knew which ones were travelers and what is hot and what is the return. After you have done that i dont see what the problem would be unless what you and maurice said about the dimmer being bad. Good luck buddy. Nothing worse than calling the fil. I know mine is a retired pipefitter and i will mess up some plumbing before i call him.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The Great White North
    Posts
    4,045

    Default Re: New dimmer doesn't dim

    Quote Originally Posted by valleyboy View Post
    I recently replaced an older dimer (likely mid to late-1980s age) with a new Leviton slider dimmer (model IPI06). This is a three way switch and the dimmer controls the light fixture on the ceiling fan. A second switch in the box controls the fan, and a second set of switches in an adjacent room independently control the same light and fan.

    I wired the new dimmer in and it will turn the fan light on and off, but will not dim, even after I followed the instructions and used the small dimming adjustment screw.

    I have a basic knowledge of wiring and the instructions included with the dimmer are not the greatest. The box contains a ground (green), white, black, and red wires; the dimmer has two reds (one of which is used only with a 3-way switch), a green, and a black. I connected the two blacks, the two greens, two of the reds, and the box neutral (white) and the second red wire. After no dimming, I switched the two reds from the dimmer around and got the same result. Trying to avoid calling my FIL (he's an electrician). Any ideas here?

    Thanks
    Quote Originally Posted by valleyboy View Post
    Thanks for your replies, gents. To answer semi, the bulbs are incandescents, and after trying multiple combinations of wire to wire, I always got the light to come on, but was unable to dim it. I'm going to return the new dimmer unit, as the only thing I can conclude is that I got a bad unit (not the first time; ask me how many times I've purchased GFCI's that have not worked out of the box or have failed within an unreasonably short amount of time).

    Canuk: if I don't connect one of the reds to the box white, then what do I do with it? The wiring between the box and the old dimmer was as such: black to black, green to green, red1 to red, red2 to white.

    Thanks
    Just going on what you posted previously--- connecting one red wire from the dimmer to the white neutral .

    You don't connect a *switch feed* ( or in the case of a 3 way switch --- a *traveller* ) to a neutral.
    Add that to your basic knowledge of electrical.

    Remember --- we can't see over the internet what's what there. We have to go on whatever information you provide.

    Now , based on further information it seems the *white* is not a neutral but rather is being used as a traveller. In which case , yes , one red from the dimmer would then be connected with that white at the switch box.

    Is it possible the dimmer is faulty ? -- perhaps --- anything is possible.

    However, one thing that might be the case here. Perhaps the 3 way dimmer switch you are trying to replace has the *common* tied directly to the light. The electronic dimmer has the * dimming * output only on the travellers.

    Verify which 3 way has the constant feed for the *common* --- if it's the other one then try connecting the electronic dimmer at that location to see it it works.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

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