My condo came with these dimmer switches. You push once on up or down to fade the lights in or out fully, or press and hold to fade the lights slowly, releasing to set the light amount. I don't know the brand. The switches always glow green (not only when the light is switched on).

As you'd expect, the top outlet of one room is switched. I brilliantly plugged a kettle into that outlet, which seems to have tripped an internal breaker in the switch. It now flashes red.

In an attempt to reset the breaker, I've tried various patterns of pressing the button, pressing and holding, pressing both up and down. Nothing seems to have worked. I poked at the clear peg at the bottom of the switch, but it doesn't seem like it's an actionable button.

I have had to reset this breaker once before, just tapping up worked.

Any ideas on how I could reset this breaker, assuming it is an internal breaker?

I'd also love a brand name and model, or even a manual reference I can read on my own, if anyone recognizes what this is.

(I removed the kettle and moved it to a non-switched receptacle.)

Smart dimmer switched outlet fused

  • 2
    I'd turn off the power and remove the wall plate and give us a picture. The makers names are always on the device yoke.
    – Dan D.
    Sep 4, 2018 at 15:38
  • 1
    Ok @DanD., I'll do that this evening.
    – msanford
    Sep 4, 2018 at 15:41
  • Sounds like you fried the switch. It is a code violation to have an outlet on a dimmer even if it normally powers a light. Note many digital light switches are rated less than 500w .
    – Ed Beal
    Sep 4, 2018 at 18:57
  • @EdBeal Yeah, that was also a fear of mine; and it seemed like dimming an outlet was a very strange thing to have done!
    – msanford
    Sep 4, 2018 at 18:58

3 Answers 3


It was installed illegally. That's why it failed.

Your plugging a kettle in there was reasonable.

Switched receptacles for lighting are legal. What's illegal is placing a dimmer on a receptacle, and what happened to you is precisely the reason it is illegal.

Now if you really, really want to dim a socket, you can use a magic, specially keyed receptacle that only accepts special "magic" lamp plugs (which you then put on your lamp). That's what they should have done.

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You don't need to replace with an identical dimmer. The rectangle shape is called a "Decora cover". Most dimmers are compatible with it as are many plain switches. You'll need to decide whether to put a plain switch here; or put a dimmer and the above receptacle kit.

Since this is the condo's mess-up, I would ask them to pay for it.


It took me a few minutes to find the code reference in the NEC 2017 code. 404.14.E. Dimmers can be used for permanent installed luminaries unless listed for control of other loads. I think I remember leviton or one of the other major brands make a "special" outlet that takes a non standard plug that is listed for use as a dimmer but I have only seen 1 of these over the years. So it is a code violation to have a dimmer on a standard outlet. I looked up several brands of electronic dimmers and the ones I looked up maxed out at 600w with several LED models being under 100w so I think the magic smoke came out of the switch and it is dead.


Switches like this do not usually have "circuit breaker" functionality. It's possible though that it has an internal circuit, often called a "crowbar" that protects it's own internal components from permanent damage. If you're lucky, that's the case and there is a "reset" procedure. But without knowing the name of the manufacturer, there is no way to tell. Anything like that would be specific to that manufacturer.

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