Double dimmer: "spare" wire

Postby Kurtz » Mon May 07, 2007 2:57 pm

Grateful for any assistance...

Once upon a time there was a single wall switch for a ceiling light. Then we got six spots put in and two wall lights running off a 400 Watt double dimmer. The dimmer keeps getting overloaded (the reason for which I now, finally, understand) but on removing the double dimmer from the wall one of the wires got pulled out and I have no idea where to put it back.

Remaining wires show:
Black wire into L1 of dimmer 1
Green & yellow wire from C on dimmer 1 to C on dimmer 2.
Red wire into C on dimmer 2.

The spare wire is green yellow - although I think this is just the sheath for the wire & may not indicate earth. A neighbour has has previously said that this set up is not ideal but is workable.

Grateful for advice on where to replace the final wire.
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Postby sparx » Mon May 07, 2007 6:39 pm

The wire you have left was prob. in L1 of other dimmer, BUT THE SET UP IS DANGEROUS because the clown who did it has used the earth wire as switch live for wall lights, the black wire in L1 of other dimmer is really a red switch live, the green/yellow loop live between switch commons should be red also!
some where above ceiling will be a botched up joint where the earth core being used for switch line will be linked to red of wall lights or centre lights.
this was done in order not to run another cable to the switch position, it is often done by bodgers, & leaves no earth at switch which means you must not use a metal plate switch as a fault with switch could cause front plate to be alive & fuse/mcb won't disconnect supply, please get sparks to confirm and rectify ASAP, regards SPARX
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Postby Kurtz » Mon May 07, 2007 8:05 pm

Thanks very much. It's now on (with 35 rather than 50 Watt spots) & I'm still alive. Will get it checked out by a recommended professional this time & not our Yellow Pages man. He was getting on a bit so I hope he's retired now before he puts in more dodgy fittings. In fact he was even very happy to oblige with a metal front plate at the time!
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