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Z-Wave Dimmers and strange circuits

Discussion in 'Electrics Outside of the UK' started by DunnJo, 28 Feb 2004.

This topic originated from the How to page called Replacing a one way light switch with a dimmer switch.

  1. DunnJo

    DunnJo

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    Warning: this one is really advanced. I recently replaced one regular dimmer with a new remote-controllable Z-wave enabled dimmer (www.zen-sys.com) and it worked like a charm! I could control the light with a remote or even my computer. However, I then tried to replace a double switch across the room with two new Z-wave switches (one dimmer and one normal relay). Inside the double switch receptacle are 4 black wires (previously connected to toggle switches), 4 white wires previously spliced together and unsed, and 4 copper wires (spliced together unused - previous switches were ungrounded). The Z-wave switches I put in have a black wire (line), a white wire (neutral), a red wire (load), and a green (ground). I hooked black to one black, the red to the other black, the switch's white to two of the receptacle whites, and grounded all greens together. They are set up this way because the switch requires two circuits to be created: one switchable - to turn the light on and off, and one constant - to maintain enough juice to power the radio frequency transmitter (for remote control). The relay switch works fine, but my dimmer does not. To make matters worse, the switch all the way on the other side of the room no longer works. These switches are completely independent and are not set up as a 3-way, yet the improper set up of one seems to be preventing the other from working. I thought it might be bad to have two dimmers on this if there was a chance the dimmers were on the same direct circuit, so I replaced one dimmer with a relay and it still isn't working. Any ideas?
     
  2. Big_Spark

    Big_Spark

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    Knowing the way some electricians wire lighting circuits in the US, my guess is that you have linked over the supplies and probably blown both dimmers, but I could be wrong on this assumption, it is difficult to determine without being there and taking readings from the individual cores.

    My suggestion would be to put the old switches back in place and see what happens, try the dimmers on other circuits to see if they work or if the are blown.

    Bear in mind that you system of wiring is wholly different from the UK, 99% of Electricians and Engineers have no knowledge of your systems.

    I have worked there so I have an advatage in this matter.

    Usually the White core is also a "hot" core so that you can have 220V supplies, this should not be the case with a lighting circuit, but it is not impossible.

    I would suggest that you bite the bullet and call an Electrician in to resolve exactly how your lights are wored and connected, it will be the safer and less costly option in the long run.
     
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  4. DunnJo

    DunnJo

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    Thanks for the suggestions. I ended up figuring it out. I had split the white wires into two groups, not realizing that the white wires needed to be spliced in order to continue the circuit to the next switch. Once I spliced them all together, it worked fine! I didn't kill my dimmers, either. They have a shutoff mechanism that prevents them from exploding if overloaded.
     
  5. Big_Spark

    Big_Spark

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    Glad to hear you sorted it out..sounds like your electrician..the one who wired it originally, used what we call a 2 plate system, taking live feeds to switches and looping between them. For this he obviously used the white core so he could use the remainder for the switch line etc.
     
  6. DIYnot Local

    DIYnot Local

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