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I'm trying to wire a new Legrand Adorne Softap dimmer without any luck. It's replacing a Legrand Adorne paddle dimmer which uses the HOT and 1-POLE connections on the back of the dimmer. The new dimmer requires an additional neutral wire to be connected to WHITE on the dimmer.

This is in a 5-gang box with a few other switches. From the feed coming into the box from the light, there is a black, white and ground. On the old dimmer, black from the feed was going to 1-POLE, while another black wire was connected to HOT which is pigtailed to a red wire from another feed. The white wire from the feed is connected to 3 other white wires in the box and capped off.

I attempted to move the wiring as it was to the new dimmer, and take the white wire from the feed and connect it to WHITE on the dimmer. After snapping it into the frame, I can't get it to come on at all. Does it sounds like this dimmer won't work because I don't have 3 wires from the feed itself? Thanks.

Switches from left to right:

  1. 3 way switch for kitchen light
  2. 3 way switch for another kitchen light
  3. New dimmer for living room light
  4. Existing dimmer for living room light
  5. Fan switch

clear wiring closeup wiring extreme closeup wiring

  • Can you post photos of the inside of the box? – ThreePhaseEel Jun 26 '16 at 0:48
  • I added some images to the post. Unfortunately the box is a mess because of the number of switches/dimmers so it's hard to tell what everything is. The first picture is a closer shot of the dimmer I'm trying to add, an existing dimmer for another set of lights, and a fan switch (left to right). – Vincent Jun 26 '16 at 1:11
  • Egads, it sure is a mess! Can you try pulling all the wires and nuts out of the box, and then giving us two more photos -- one of the nuts/junctions and another of the back of the box? – ThreePhaseEel Jun 26 '16 at 1:22
  • Yes, it is a mess! I will do this and post back with some better photos shortly. – Vincent Jun 26 '16 at 14:29
  • Ok, I've updated the original post with better photos. For the switches from left to right, there is: 1. 3 way switch for kitchen light 2. 3 way switch for another kitchen light 3. New dimmer for living room light 4. Existing dimmer for living room light 5. Fan switch – Vincent Jun 26 '16 at 15:11
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Your problem is that the white wire that is connected to the new dimmer never actually connects to neutral -- it simply connects to the load. You'll need a white pigtail and a new wirenut to fix this.

Turn the power off at the breaker. Undo the existing wirenut for the white wires, and undo the white wire from the new dimmer. Twist one end of the white pigtail and the white wire that was undone from the new dimmer with the existing bundle of white wires, and put the new wirenut on. Attach the other end of the pigtail to the new dimmer and put everything back together, then turn the power back on and enjoy your new dimmer!

  • That did it, thanks! Just so I understand, which feed in the box provides the neutral? – Vincent Jun 27 '16 at 0:24
  • Feed 1 -- i.e. the far-left one, as it also provides the hot that's pigtailed out to the two dimmers and the fan switch. – ThreePhaseEel Jun 27 '16 at 0:49
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Smartswitch neutrals do not work that way

What happened is, when you installed the smart switch, you accurately figured out which of the wires was the lamp's neutral... Then you pulled that out of the neutral bundle fed from the panel, and moved it to the smart switch's neutral.

I'm sure that made sense in the "how else could it possibly hook up" way. Actually that kit did not provide a critical part: a neutral pigtail from the switch to the bundle. Most people don't have spare wire lying around of the correct type.

Electrically what happened is: Imagine if Lenny and Steve have islands. Only Lenny has a bridge to the mainland. Steve also wants a bridge to the mainland, so he orders one built. The builders pivot Lenny's bridge so it connects to Steve's island instead of the mainland. Now they connect to each other but nobody can get to the mainland.

The right way is to leave all the lamp neutrals in the neutral bundle, and also add the smartswitch neutral to that bundle. You'll need an extra bit of wire for that. #12 Solid THHN will do the trick, or white wire pulled out of Romex. Don't use any random automotive or electronics wire.

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