Monday, October 24, 2011

Did I wire this electrical switch wrong?

I connected a lighted dimmer switch to an existing 2-outlet receptacle in the kitchen, and changed one of the outlets to work only with the switch, with the other outlet always hot. I followed the instructions EXACTLY but something is weird... when the switch is turned off, the %26quot;night light%26quot; is supposed to come on, but it does not come on unless something is plugged into the outlet that it now controls. When a lamp is plugged in, the switch lights and the dimmer works, and the lamp functions correctly when the switch is turned on. However, it certainly seems to me that the switch should always be lit, and shouldn't need to have something plugged into its outlet. I'm worried that I've wired the switch wrong, and even though it seems to work, I'll probably burn down the house or something...

The existing receptacle is mid-run, with two outside cables entering the box. The new switch has two black wires and one ground wire. The instructions were: break the tab between the two brass screw terminals on the receptacle (to make each outlet separate), connect all the ground wires together, attach the 2 existing white wires coming into the box to the silver terminals on the receptacle, attach one black switch wire to one brass receptacle terminal, pigtail the other black switch wire with the existing black wires in the box and connect to the other brass terminal.

Can anyone tell me if I've done something wrong, or how I can get the switch to be lit when turned off without anything plugged in? Thank you VERY much!!Did I wire this electrical switch wrong?You must know that the dimmer switch has only a hot and a return wire.

It has no neutral.

So for the light on the dimmer to work it must have a source plugged into the outlet and the light on the dimmer gets a neutral thru the filaments of lamps plugged into the outlet.

So you do have it wired correctly, just be sure not to plug any appliances into the dimmer controlled outlet.Did I wire this electrical switch wrong?Hard to say without seeing it, but you also need to make sure that the ground is hooked up to the switch and the plug. If the switch does not have a ground or a common, the night light circuit cannot be completed. Also if you have broken the tab to isolate the outlets each one would need a hot (black) wire. Did I wire this electrical switch wrong?Ok lets see!! hmmmm the dimmer breaks the black then continues on to the fixture it is supposed to operate. then pig tail from the power line in side of the switch to the brass terminals you want to be hot all the time white is common green ground also in homes red is also hot if you run into it. Home Depot/Lowe's has a fine electrical repair manual.But my favorite help book source is Barns and Noble I like books for dummy's horse's,electrical,auto repair,etc,etc,etc. sounds like your back feeding the receptacle. do you have a meter check voltage from silver terminal too ground before and after light is turned on. LuckDid I wire this electrical switch wrong?Dimmer switches are usually connected to ceiling lights, not outlets.

Dimmers are only meant to be used with incandescent bulbs. There's a chance that one day you might forget and plug something else into the dimmer receptacle.

Without a bulb in the circuit, there is no current to light the night light.

If you want a night light, you can plug one into the always-on receptacle.Did I wire this electrical switch wrong?Safety first:

I am not comfortable giving you further instruction then: You need an Electrician

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