enter image description here

Original wiring

enter image description here

To wire to this new switch

Hi all, I'm trying to convert an existing switch back to a normal switch but it keeps tripping. Can some one give me some suggestion. I used the black (3 bunched together ) wires in terminal 1 and the red 2 wires in the common terminal. It keeps tripping doesn't matter what combination I tried.

Sorry photo didn't show earth wires and 3 black wires in the background. which are not connected to the dimmer switch.

Thanks in advance....


  • Where are you on this planet? Mar 16, 2019 at 14:42
  • I'm in Australia
    – Amateurish
    Mar 16, 2019 at 14:47
  • 1
    Never try combinations. Obviously you intended to be satisfied with the first combination that "works". However most combinations that "work" also create a serious hazard. Why are you putting all blacks together and all reds together? How were the blacks wired before? Mar 16, 2019 at 14:54
  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. As @Harper said, if you're swapping the wires around you could likely find something that seems to work, but causes a serious hazard to life, limb, and your house. Be careful! Mar 16, 2019 at 15:33
  • I bought the place recently and it was wired as such. Not sure how the house is wired but pic 1 shows how it was originally . I wired back to the same as pic 1 and put a normal light bulb it works. I was planning to put an energy saver bulb in but it doesn't like the dimmer part.
    – Amateurish
    Mar 16, 2019 at 15:37

1 Answer 1


You see how the new switch has 4 terminals: C for common, 1, a covered-up 2 that you won't be using, and "Loop" which appears to be merely for convenient splicing.

You also notice the old switch has 4 terminals that appear to be in the same position. I will assume they are labeled the same.

So. The two red wires from the wall that went to "1" on the old switch. They need to to "1" on the new switch. Easy peasy.

The one red wire that went from "Loop" on the old switch needs to go to "C" on the new switch.

And we're done.

Oh wait. You also messed with the black wires. That was not constructive since they never went to the old switch in the first place. Put them back exactly the way you found them.

In the future, if you are replacing something, and you see wires that do not go to the thing you are replacing, leave them alone. They are not part of your project. You made your situation worse by messing about with those black wires. We see this all the time; at extremes one fellow wanted to change a light fixture and instead of touching the 2 wires that went to the fixture, dismantled all 12 wires in the box. He knocked out power to half his apartment and his neighbor's lights, and wound up having to throw himself at the mercy of his landlord's electrician, that wasn't cheap! I call this "trying to learn electrical by dismantling your house". I recommend a book.

Now if you're wondering what is the deal with those color codes, look at the cables available for sale at your home improvement store. Now, your working theory is that the color codes are there to help you hook up the wires, and therefore they designate the function/purpose of the wires. There would need to be a variety of color combinations offered buy shops, so you could use black/red for power, black/blue for lamp, red/blue for switch loops, etc. But no. The shops only sell red/black.

With all cables looking identical, position is everything. Position gives us the information of what the various wires do. That's why it matters which two red wires were together in the previous config. That is why the guy I mentioned got in so much trouble.

Myself, I either work in conduit or color-code my wires with tape. So in my boxes, yes, you just join all purple wires. But that is because I go out of my way to make it so. It's not automatic.

  • Thank you in advance for your detailed explanation. I will try to hook up as mentioned and see how we go. Will come back with the result. Cheers
    – Amateurish
    Mar 16, 2019 at 21:18

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