I'm trying to replace 2 dimmer switches with normal switches but I'm confused by how they are wired. Each dimmer controls a different set of lights yet they are connected in a way.

1 dimmer has a red wire on the top right screw, a white on the bottom right and a copper ground on the top left. From the bottom right screw there is an additional small white wire that then jumps to the bottom right screw of the second dimmer. This dimmer has a black wire connected to the top right but no ground.

I was going to just put two new switches into place in the exact same configuration but the lights have been shutting off somewhat randomly and I'm wondering if it's because of how these switches are wired. Is this configuration right? If not how can I fix it?

2 Answers 2


Sounds to me like the white wire is the ungrounded (hot) conductor, and should be reidentified as such using a bit of black tape/paint/marker. Power comes to the first switch via the white, and then to the second with a white jumper.

The red wire is the switched "hot", which is used to control one light. The black wire is the other switched "hot", and is used to control the other light. The bare wire is ground.

To install two new switches:

  1. Turn the power off, and verify that it's off.
  2. Mark the white wire with a bit of black tape/paint/marker.
  3. Connect the white wire with two short bits of black wire (pigtails), using a twist-on wire connector.
  4. Connect one black pigtail to one switch terminal, and the other to one of the switch terminals of the other switch.
  5. Connect the red wire to the other terminal of one switch.
  6. Connect the black wire to the other terminal of the other switch.
  7. Using bare copper or green pigtails, connect a ground wire to the green screw on each switch, and the box if it's metal.

When done, it should look something like this.

enter image description here

  • The hot feed could be red or white wire. It won't hurt anything its all hot leads. if it is mixed up 2nd light wont work just switch red and white wires.
    – justin j
    Mar 4, 2016 at 3:43
  • @justinj OP says "white on the bottom right... From the bottom right screw there is an additional small white wire that then jumps to the bottom right screw of the second dimmer". Which leads me to believe that white is the "hot" feed, not red or black.
    – Tester101
    Mar 4, 2016 at 4:22

The one Dimmer sounds like a three way (but not used as three way)and normally common screw is on opposite side as ground screw. OP said ground was top left and red was top right.

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