Receptacles and Lights Dim. Receptacle Tester Not Happy. Lights sometimes work?

Reply Sun 9 Sep, 2012 04:55 pm
Trying to get the receptacles to not be dim-able or switch-able and lights to switch and/or dim in a new home built in 1927. Please refer to the picture. A bunch of weird behavior and hoping someone can here can decipher and explain what I'm seeing. Help is greatly appreciated.

The switch controls the receptacles. The switch and dimmer combined will dim the ceiling lights and the receptacles.

The ceiling lights turn on but dim when:
* Anything is plugged into one specific receptacle and the dimmer and the switch is on

The ceiling lights go from barely lit to dim and lights plugged into the receptacles also dim
* When toggling the dimmer, the switch is also on, and anything is plugged into one specific receptacle

The receptacle tester (GB non-GFCI) reports all 3 lights (red/y/y)
* When white is connected to silver and black to bronze

The receptacle tester reports 1 red, 1 yellow (reversed hot/neutral)
* When white is connected to bronze and black to silver

Reply Sun 9 Sep, 2012 06:08 pm
Where would I be without family. Seems I may have lost a neutral somewhere in the circuit. Additional suggestions still welcome.
0 Replies
Reply Sun 9 Sep, 2012 07:49 pm
First of all, which country are you in?

In the US, white should be common so shouldn't be running to your switch and dimmer. It can be used if color marker is added to the wire to designate that it is hot. As drawn, it seems white is your line and red and black are the loads on switch and dimmer.

Your drawing makes little/no sense from a circuit standpoint without the connections at your electrical box shown.

A guess would be you are running the white/nuetral to the switch and dimmer and the hots are always at the ceiling and receptacle. That means that the dimmer and switch are acting as the neutral and causing you problems. The fact that you are getting a dimmed circuit at the receptacles says your switch and dimmer are wired wrong so you are completing a circuit through the dimmer when you shouldn't be. Testing with a receptacle tester will do you little good to troubleshoot your switch problems. You need to know what your circuit is before you connect anything.

I would strongly suggest you hire an electrician before you do anything else. The least you should do is spend the money for a DIY electrical book and the proper testing tools.
0 Replies

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