How to Install a 3-Way Lighting Dimmer

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 80,551
    Home Maintenance Expert Steve McCurdy demonstrates how to install a 3-Way Lighting Dimmer.

    Steve Mccurdy: Hi this is Steve Mccurdy from Leviton Manufacturing. I am here to show you how to install dimmers. Now in this segment we're going to install a three-way dimmer in a bathroom application that has two entrances. Now remember as with any electrical work you want to make sure that you de-engize the circuit that's feeding the area that you work in. The first thing we want to do is remove the wall plate. Now first you want to make sure that you check to see if there's no power available in this area and that's what I'm going to do right now.

    So you simply use the voltmeter that you have and you check for power in different locations in the box, and here I'm confirming that there is no power. Next what we want to do is, we want to actually remove the switch from the wall, and I'll do that with my combinations screwdriver. Once I back out the screws are all the way, I'm going to gently hold the existing switch out of the wall. At this point we're going to remove the existing conductors from the switch. Now this switch has quick connect connectors on it. So I'm going to use a small screw driver in order to loosen up the wires connected to this switch. You simply insert the screwdriver and pull out the existing conductors. Now I'll do that for the next two wires that are in here. Now we're going to get our new dimmer. Now in this case you want to definitely make sure that the dimmer you're using is ready for a three-way application. And just make sure you look at the package, and the instructions to illustrate that. Now this particular dimmer is Leviton Illumatech dimmer. It actually comes with multiple colors. So in this situation I'm just going to use the white dimmer but you can change the color on these dimmers at any time. First we're going to hook up the ground wire. Now that's the green wire on the new dimmer. And actually some of the insulation has already been stripped back for that. We're going to use our wires, just the straighten out the connection. Now in the box this is a bare copper wire. This is ground in most boxes, sometimes it'll be a green wire. Twist it tight and that will give us a good strong connection for ground. We are going to use the wire-nut in order to terminate that. Next we're going to take our black wire which is our power and we've already identified this as the power conductor. We're going to connect that power and use a wire-nut to connect it. This is our load wire which will go to the red conductor, and then you'll notice on the dimmer there's this little label. This is a single pole and a three-way dimmer. So this single pole and three-way can be used in both of those applications. So in this case we're going to use this wire because this is a three-way application. So I'll remove that label and connect it to the common. Next we'll take our conductors and put them back inside the junction box. It's important at this point as well to make sure that your dimmer is in the right position again so I will turn this upside down and include it inside the dimmer box. I'll take my screwdriver, screw it in. Now we have turned the power back on, now we'll just test the dimmer. Now all that's left to do is add the plate and that's how we install a three-way dimmer.