Can someone tell me which wire is what I want to replace this old light switch with a dimmer switch but idk what kind of wire each is?

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  • Anonymous
    6 months ago

    Please just get somebody with some electrical knowledge to do it for you.

  • 6 months ago

    You have 2 blacks and a ground. The whites connect together in the back of the box. One black will be hot and the other will be going to the light. Use a volt meter to determine which black wire is hot.

  • 6 months ago

    get a voltage tester [multimeter] at Harbor Freight or Northern Tool and you can find or exactly what is what in there -- sometimes a prior owner used the colored wires incorrectly

  • 6 months ago

    Green is ground, white is return, and black is hot. Connect green to the green ground terminal, white to the nickle terminal and black to the brass terminal.

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  • 6 months ago

    If is a simple on-off switch, then see dtstellwagen's answer & my caution below.

    However, as the switch has three wires - is it a two-way circuit, with another switch controlling the same light? If so, you cannot fit a normal dimmer with just on-off switching, the other switch will either be disabled or be able to force the light off regardless of what you do with the dimmer.

    Also, be wary of what type of dimmer you get. Ones for traditional filament lamps are not always suitable for low-energy or electronics lamps, even ones marked as "dimmable" - you must get a dimmer that explicitly says it is compatible with such as dimmable LEDs, to be certain it will not fail rapidly or damage any low energy lamps.

  • gerald
    Lv 7
    6 months ago

    the bare copper wire is earth the other two one is live one is neutral get a power tester and see which is live and the switch should have the connections marked

  • Anonymous
    6 months ago

    The terminals are different. One is gold, the other silver. The formula is black-to-gold and white-silver. The ground wire goes to the green screw.

  • 6 months ago

    Look at the screws. A greenish screw is the ground. That is the wire that has no insulation around it. There is a silver color screw and a copper color screw. The Silver goes to the white wire and the copper goes to the black wire. Keep in mind a dimmer switch often can not take the wattage of a flip switch so you might want to switch the bulbs to LEDs to keep the switch from over heating.

  • 6 months ago

    It's a little hard to the connections on the switch, in the box I can see bare ground wires, so it doesn't appear your third wire is a ground, it looks like maybe it is poked into a hole near a screw terminal that would be an alternate connection point connected to a screw terminal. Looks like you have 3 sets of cables, One hot pair coming in, a hot pair continuing to other outlets, and a pair that is switched to the light.

    The two wires on one side of the switch both need to be connected to the hot (gold screw/black wire) on a dimmer, the single wire on the other side is the load wire (silver screw/red wire). If the dimmer you are trying to use needs a neutral the white in the box may be a neutral, would probably need a meter to be sure.

    If you are unable to attach two wires to a hot screw then you may need to pigtail a short 4" piece of wire and a yellow or tan wire connector to join 3 wires together to attach one to the screw.

    Also note older switches often did not have a connection to the ground (bare) wire, your new switch will likely have a green screw or wire that needs to be connected to the bare wire in the box.

  • 6 months ago

    Another photo so you can see which cord is going where

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    • dtstellwagen
      Lv 7
      6 months agoReport

      A picture of the back of the switch would be most helpful.

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