Asked on Jun 9, 2020

Wire this 2 gang dimmer switch?

Lifestyles HomesWilliamSeth
+6

Answered

I have what seems to be a pair of wires for each bulb. Is it possible to wire it up to this dual gang dimmer switch?


Edit: Tested the wires and the 2 red wires are live.

8 answers
  • Annie
    on Jun 9, 2020

    Hi James. It might be possible. You need to determine where the power is coming from. Is one of the wires hot? Also I dont see any ground wires in that box. You may need to get a electrician to inspect before use, for your safety. Here is a link that may help you out. https://www.do-it-yourself-help.com/wiring-diagrams-for-two-outlets-one-box.html

  • Ken Erickson
    on Jun 9, 2020

    Normally there are 2 or more wires coming into a J-box. One is the power supply and the other goes to the lights. Also, there is usually a ground, white neutral, and black hot. The whites are connected and the blacks get connected to the switch. When the switch mores to the ON position, it connects the blacks and turns on the light. Sometimes you will see white, red, and black, plus a ground. The red wire usually indicates that there is a second switch in the room that will control the lights (called 3-way). I don't know what you have or where tis is located, so I'd try to find a friend with electrical experience to help. Another question - what was inside the box?

  • GrandmasHouseDIY
    on Jun 9, 2020

    Hi James, this had me confused for a bit. Usually there are three wires in each wire. A white (neutral), a black (power) and a ground (copper). Unless its a very old home then its very common that there is no ground. USUALLY black and red are both hot - which is why I'm a bit confused. One of those must be the neutral and one of those must be the hot. I would guess the red is being used as the neutral...

    How was it hooked up before? That would be the easiest way to know which color wire was being used as the neutral.

    You will need to determine which one of those wires is hot and which one is not. Yes you can hook it up to a regular switch. Check out the diagram on the switch you have to determine which side power comes in and which side power goes out.

  • Jim Cox
    on Jun 10, 2020

    You have a SWITCH leg (x2), which means power in and power out. You do NOT have a neutral to wire up this dimmer. This is a common mistake a few million homeowners have made. ( I literally correct a young couple a week at Lowe's) You could have an electrician pull a whole cable to your switch box from the light fixture box overhead where your power is, and then you'd be able to use this. But as is, the only answer is No.


    Jim Cox

    Industrial Electricity Instructor

    Ozarks Technical Community College

  • Kmdreamer
    on Jun 10, 2020

    This must have been for a double switch at one point.you could cap off the one red your not use with a screw on and the other will be like a ground then just hook up the switch as you would.

  • Seth
    on Jun 10, 2020

    James,

    It's hard to tell from the picture, but it looks like you might have aluminum wiring. While you may not need to replace it, it does require special connectors. You add a connector on to the aluminum and then copper wire from the connector to the receptacle. The dimmer needs to be rated for use with aluminum wiring. Never use the push-in connector on the receptacle with the aluminum wire and you need a plastic cover, not metal since there is no ground. For safety sake and preserving your homeowner's insurance, call an electrician if you are not 100% comfortable tackling this on your own.

    • Jim Cox
      on Jun 10, 2020

      I was thinking it looked like Belden control cable etc. It's definitely not Romex

  • William
    on Jun 10, 2020

    Nope. I am going to assume you had a separate switch for each lamp. Touch the red to the black in one sheath and the lamp turns on and the same with the other sheath. That dimmer may require a neutral wire at N to work which you don't have. The diagram shows lights wired in series and yours are wired separate switches.

  • Lifestyles Homes
    on Jun 11, 2020

    In older houses, I’ve seen these wire nutted together, so that you’ve one set.

    to further expand upon this,

    I’ve also seen where the 2 two-somes at their junction points have a third partner in a much larger wire nut. That 3rd wire is now the single connection to the fixture.


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