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Discuss Three way switch conundrum, any help would me appreciated. in the Lighting Forum area at ElectriciansForums.net

Dallas

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We just moved to a new house, we brought a chandelier with us. It has the same 15 x 40 watt bulbs as the last house.
There are two switches for this light, one downstairs is a dimmer switch.Upstairs is a rocker switch.

When the chandelier was hooked up, power turned back on and switch engaged with full lights/not dimmed, the dimmer which was rated at 600 watts blew out in about 45 minutes.

I removed the blown dimmer switch downstairs. The dimmer switch was connected to three wires; a black wire coiled around another black wire and a red wire.

I installed a new dimmer rated at 1100 watts. The black coiled wire to common and the other two as runners. When the breaker was flipped back to power on the dimmer switch blew out immediately.
I thought maybe I wired it incorrectly so I bought another of the same dimmer 1100 watt switches and confirmed how it was supposed to be wired and did so. This time when I turned on the power at the breaker, nothing happened. The dimmer switch, when switched to the on position, did nothing. When I switched the upstairs rocker switch the dimmer immediately blew out.
I checked the upstairs switch to be sure it was wired correctly. It also had a coiled wire around a black and red wires.

I then replaced the downstairs dimmer switch with a regular rocker switch, when the power was turned on it flipped the breaker right back off.

first picture is of the wires at the light
second picture is of the downstairs switch wiring
last two pictures are of upstairs wires

Any thoughts?
 

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telectrix

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you must have wired the chandelier wrongly, and created a hot - neutral short, usually by mistaking a switched hot for a neutral.
 

Lucien Nunes

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Or it's wired correctly but has an internal short-circuit perhaps from the wiring inside being damaged during the move. That might explain why it worked to begin with, then if the wiring at one of the lamp sockets was under stress or crushed, it shorted out as the insulation warmed up and killed the first dimmer. As the fault has tripped the breaker a few times, it is presumably solid enough that it will still be there and can be found in minutes with a multimeter.
 

Dallas

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Or it's wired correctly but has an internal short-circuit perhaps from the wiring inside being damaged during the move. That might explain why it worked to begin with, then if the wiring at one of the lamp sockets was under stress or crushed, it shorted out as the insulation warmed up and killed the first dimmer. As the fault has tripped the breaker a few times, it is presumably solid enough that it will still be there and can be found in minutes with a multimeter.
Thank you, I will check this and may come back to you to understand more.
 

telectrix

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switched hot is what we here call switched live. a cable that becomes live or hot when the switch is turned on.
 

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