I've currently got a dimmer switch which I'd like to replace with a standard 3 way switch. It looks like the following:



I've actually gone ahead and replaced the switch, which I subsequently had to revert back to, as while the light at the new switch worked fine, I found my basement lights didn't work with the new switch. However, putting the old switch back and everything worked.

I connected the new switch as follows:

  • Where the red wire is (connected to single wire), I connected to the common terminal on the new 3 way switch (black terminal)
  • the yellow and black wires were connected via a wire nut to 2 wires, I've connected them each to a traveller terminal (brass terminal)

As mentioned, this works for the light switch in question, but also kills the basement lights i.e. switching that switch doesn't work.

  • 1
    Why would you split a wire and connect it to both messenger terminals on a 3-way? That makes the switch redundant. where is the other 3-way switch? Are there only 2 wires coming out from the wall to the former dimmer? – Harper - Reinstate Monica Feb 24 '18 at 22:56
  • Thanks for the reply, so are you saying I shouldn't split the 2 wires that were together and simply connect them to a single brass terminal? Don't know where the other switch is, AFAIK there is not other switch...there are 3 wires, a single (connected to a single wire cap) and 2 others (connected to a single wire cap). – James H Feb 25 '18 at 0:49
  • I'm trying to gauge your skill level so we can tune advice accordingly, and more fully understand your circuit. And also discourage you from doing things without first understanding what it is that you are doing. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Feb 25 '18 at 3:19
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    Ok I did not understand. It sounds like the switch is not a 3-way switch at all, you were thinking 3-way because you saw 3 wires coming in. The two wires which come together do so for reasons that have nothing to do with the old dimmer or 3way-ness. Revealing is the fact that you lose other loads when you separate them. My guess is these are always-hot and the solo is switched-hot to the light. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Feb 25 '18 at 3:24
  • It's a dimmer, I'm not sure if that qualifies as a 3 way switch (it looks similar to this one westsidewholesale.com/lutron-d-600r-wh.html) - I'm trying to replace it with a standard rocker switch, which as I understand it, needs to be replaced with a 3 way switch, rather than single pole. – James H Feb 25 '18 at 14:36

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