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Electrical Wiring in the Home/Chandelier Dimmer Switch Not Working


Dear My Sponaugle:

My young boy semi broke the circular dimmer dial a couple years ago to our chandelier.  It still worked however, but not perfectly.  We often had to move the dial slowly to have the lights come on at the adequate brightness.  As we turned the dial the lights would typically go from on to off, etc.

Fastforward to 3 days ago when the lights in the chandelier were flickering quite a bit.  I kept playing with the dial hoping to find the sweet spot to make them stop flickering but I never did.  Then after playing around with the dial the lights went out completely.  

So I purchased a new dimmer switch at Home Depot, installed it properly, and the lights still will not turn on.  I reinstalled it about 5 times, double, triple checking that everything was fine.  But nothing.  My house is from 1955 and the wiring is pretty old.  

I'm not sure if this helps but after turning the power to the house on and off several times today while I was reinstalling the dimmer switch, I noticed all power was normal except my bedroom lights.  So I turned the breakers off then back on and the bedroom lights were back on, however now the stove has no power (everything else in the house does).  So I'm not really sure what's going on.  Sorry for the long message but I wanted to give you as many clues as I could.  

Do you have any idea what could be wrong with the chandelier and if so how hard/expensive it will be to fix?

Thank you so much,

Unless the bedroom lights are on the same circuit, it is not related, as are the other problems not related.  Make sure you have incandescent lights in the fixture, and not LED or CFL's.  You may want to get a cheap switch, and get it to work first.  Once it works, replace it with the dimmer.  The one you just bought could be defective. They are very temperamental.  Make sure that the breaker is off when you replace a dimmer, or it will be damaged.
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Electrical Wiring in the Home

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Bob Sponaugle


Just about any home wiring question. (not appliance repair) I have done all kinds of home wiring for myself, including adding a new breaker box, etc. Please, questions from North America only. Please be specific with details.

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