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I'm hoping you can provide me with some guidance on where I'm going wrong with my wiring of my new dimmer switches that I'm using to replace a pair of three-way switches. I've gotten everything wired up, hit the breaker, and nothing happened. No noise, no light, no change when I hit either switch.

Here are some quick, general facts:

  • Home was built in 2009

  • Replacing two, standard switches on three-way circuit with dimmer switches

  • Switches control four incandescent, can lights with 60W bulbs

Here are the manuals for the primary and auxiliary dimmer switches I bought to replace my standard switches:

Switch #1 (Primary) - GE 12724 (link removed)

Switch #2 (Auxiliary) - GE 12723 (link removed)

Here is the wiring diagram showing how the switches are supposed to be set up:

enter image description here
Click for larger view

Here is an album of images showing the wiring for my two outlet panels and the two switches I'm using:

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Click for larger view

And here is a description of the numbers/letters in that album:

Outlet #1

  1. Neutral wiring bundle (?) where jumper wire is tied in (one white, one beige - originally capped with wire nut)

  2. Jumper wire included with dimmer switch

  3. Traveler wire to outlet #2 (white - pulled out of original switch)

  4. Line wire to breaker box (black - pulled out of original switch, tested 120V with multimeter)

  5. Ground (bare copper - originally bundled and capped with wire nut)

  6. Unknown - three black wires, unused

  7. Unknown - one black and one beige wire, unused

  8. Traveler wire to outlet #2 (red - pulled out of original switch)

Outlet #2

  1. Traveler wire to outlet #1 (white - pulled out of original switch)

  2. Load wire to light fixtures (black - pulled out of original switch)

  3. Ground (bare copper - originally bundled and capped with wire nut)

  4. Jumper wire included with dimmer switch

  5. Neutral wiring bundle (?) where jumper wire is tied in (one white, two black - originally capped with wire nut)

  6. Traveler wire to outlet #1 (red - pulled out of original switch)

Finally, here is a description of how I had it wired when it didn't work:

Outlet #1 (Setup)

A > 8

B > 2

C > 5

D > 3

E > 4

Outlet #2 (Setup)

X > 16

Y > 14

Z > 13

11 > 12

If I can clarify any of the above or if I need to provide more info, please let me know. Any input you can provide on what I should check or change would be greatly appreciated.

Here's the original switch configuration using the numbers from my original post:

Switch #1 (hot)

  • 3 Traveler #1 (white wire) - brass terminal

  • 4 Common (black wire, 120 V) - black terminal

  • 8 Traveler #2 (red wire) - brass terminal

Switch #2 (load)

  • 11 Traveler #1 (white wire) - brass terminal

  • 12 Common (black wire) - black terminal

  • 16 Traveler #2 (red wire) - brass terminal

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  • Are you sure bundle 15 are grounded (neutral) conductors? It looks like there's some black wires in the bundle, which is not commonly used for neutrals. – Tester101 Oct 22 '15 at 13:11
  • Take a look at this diagram. Notice There are four ?s. You'll have to fill in the blanks, otherwise we don't have a complete picture of the situation. I might assume that the black conductor is used as a grounded (neutral), but that would be uncommon so I can't make that assumption. – Tester101 Oct 22 '15 at 13:29
  • Your wire identification doesn't make sense. In outlet 1 and 2 you've identified white load wires to light fixtures in each. To help answer your question, we need to know where the power comes from (line), where the fixture connection is located (load), and which wires go between switches. – BMitch Oct 22 '15 at 13:32
  • @Tester101 is the black wire with the two question marks a neutral wire in that diagram? Can you clarify what the two beige wires with question marks would be in your diagram as well? BMitch, I believe you're right. I've updated my original post with (what I believe to be) accurate wiring designations based on the info I've gotten so far. I believe what I originally represented as load to the lights were actually the second traveler wire between the two outlets. – Brian Wolfe Oct 22 '15 at 14:14
  • So, in summary: #3, #11 - (White, traveler wire) #8, #16 - (Red, traveler wire) #4 - (Black. hot wire to breaker box) #12 - (Black, load wire to lights) – Brian Wolfe Oct 22 '15 at 14:14
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Since the existing install is using black wires as grounded (neutral) conductors, you should start by rewiring the original circuit to be code compliant.

Code compliant wiring

Then you'll wire the new dimmers in like this.

Dimmer wiring

With the dimmers installed, you'll have something like this.

enter image description here

You'll notice that T2, that runs from F to DD is not labeled. This is because I'm not sure which wire it is in your photos.

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