We have an old dimmer switch, single pole, the type with an indicator light internally. It has two black wires, and the green wire is cut off. The plastic box it's connected to has only two wires, one black, one white. They are obviously 120 volts, since the switch has a light in it, and I measured it with a circuit tester. It seems to be described as "electro-mechanical". The part is a Leviton catalog No. 6631, but the instructions I see for these seem to be different than this device, and show the conventional hookup with 2 pairs of wires.
Do I need a special dimmer switch? The one I bought wants two sets of black/white wires, and connects to the black ones, with the white ones shorted.
Or do I need to rewire the whole mess?
Edit I think I might need to rewire if I want anything other than a crappy dimmer; I can't even use a simple switch, because as soon as I turn it on, it might be a short from hot to neutral black to white).
I have no idea how it's connected, actually. Perhaps I'm just being fooled by measuring stray voltage where there is no real current?
I hope there's someone out there who understands electricity enough to explain it.