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Thread: Wiring Trouble

  1. #1

    Default Wiring Trouble

    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. #2



    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.


  3. #3
    Licensed Electrical Contractor Speedy Petey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    NY State, USA


    Quote Originally Posted by jperna View Post
    My problem is that i have 3 black wires to attach and only 2 black wires on the dimmer.
    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?

  4. #4
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona

    Default wires

    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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