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11/24/2017 4:44:23 PM
11/22/2017 10:05:29 PM
Posted: 10/15/2004 5:29:17 PM EST
Ok, so we had the builder hang a chandelier. It's on a 3-way switch and one of the switches is a dimmer. The fixture takes twenty, 40 watt bulbs. There's only fifteen bulbs in it right now but I think he used all 60 watt'ers (left a crate for him but they were supposed to go in other fixtures, not the chandelier). I did a site inspection today and went to dim the chandeliere only to find that the dimmer switch was REAL hot to the touch. Off it went immediatley ! I found the package for the dimmer and its rated for 600 watts and I think 15 amps. Did he push the limit on the dimmer with 900 watts and would that make it overheat ?? No circuit breakers ever tripped. Will a 1000 watt rated 3-way dimmer do the trick ?
Link Posted: 10/15/2004 5:48:09 PM EST
Yes, you are overloading the dimmer. Go to 10, 15, or 20 watt bulbs.

Those dimmers tend to generate some heat anyway, and they are limitations that further derate them when 2 or more are installed in the same switch box.

I try not to load a switch up to its max capacity.
Link Posted: 10/15/2004 5:57:29 PM EST
Um yes. Even a full set of 40s would overload it. I'd install the 40s and get a 1000 watt dimmer.
Link Posted: 10/15/2004 8:13:53 PM EST

Originally Posted By mace:
Um yes. Even a full set of 40s would overload it. I'd install the 40s and get a 1000 watt dimmer.



+1. Most dimmers out there are 600w - after all, most fixtures have (maybe) 5 100w bulbs - usually only 1 or 2 100w.

Go big on the dimmer (they're not that expensive anymore) and tone down the lamps.
Link Posted: 10/15/2004 8:16:24 PM EST
So THAT'S why the dimmer switch in my foyer (big chandelier) gets so freakin' hot!!



I guess I'll head down to Home Depot tomorrow and get a higher-rated one before the house burns down.

Once again, arfcom saves the day (I'm glad I opened this thread!)
Link Posted: 10/15/2004 8:59:43 PM EST
Call Tim Allen. He'll come over with his Binford tool box and fix you right up.
Link Posted: 10/16/2004 5:35:33 AM EST

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:
So THAT'S why the dimmer switch in my foyer (big chandelier) gets so freakin' hot!!



I guess I'll head down to Home Depot tomorrow and get a higher-rated one before the house burns down.

Once again, arfcom saves the day (I'm glad I opened this thread!)



That might be a wasted trip. I tried threeHome Depots in my area and they don't stock a 1000 watt dimmer. Unless something else comes to mind I'm gonna have to try an internet order.
Link Posted: 10/18/2004 3:31:47 PM EST
Okay so.....my builder said the electrician advised me to NOT bother getting a 1000 watt dimmer, that it wouldn't work. He thinks that the 600 watt dimmer got hot because the chandelier was left on all night. Hell, I leave all sorts of lights on 'all night' and the switches don't get so hot that you can't touch them! I don't know if the electrician is aware that the thousand watt replacement dimmer I bought IS a 3-way dimmer. To be clear; the chandelier is controlled at three locations; the dimmer at the entry, one switch in the hall, and another switch at the end of the hall. The electrician said "...we can't put a 1000 watt dimmer in because it is on a 3 way switch and would take it back to 600 watts automatically. The only way is to try and attach a box to the existing 3 gang by the entry door and put a 1000 watt dimmer in there". So what if I get two 1000 watt single pole switches to go along with the upgraded dimmer ????
Link Posted: 10/18/2004 3:36:49 PM EST
quote:"The electrician said "...we can't put a 1000 watt dimmer in because it is on a 3 way switch and would take it back to 600 watts automatically."

WTF, over.
Link Posted: 10/18/2004 3:42:47 PM EST
Your first post mentioned "3way" circuit. What you just described is a "4way" circuit, and the switches aren't the same.

If you are pulling more than the rated load on any device, you are overloading it and operating it outside the design envelope set by the manufacturer.

Go to the lower link and look around the site, you can learn proper wiring of 3way and 4way circuits.

Houses burn down every day due to overloaded elect circuitsand appliances, even new houses.

www.wfu.edu/~matthews/courses/p230/switches/3way/variations.html
Link Posted: 10/18/2004 3:53:05 PM EST

Originally Posted By Mike_Mills:
Call Tim Allen. He'll come over with his Binford tool box and fix you right up.



Get some 3 phase, 220v.. that baby will glow!! space station will use it as a referance point..
Link Posted: 10/18/2004 4:26:07 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/18/2004 11:31:13 PM EST by OneRobertFour]
hey....all I wanna do is dim the freakin mothership down a little so as not to burn down the house. I will replace all bulbs with 40 watters.
Link Posted: 10/18/2004 5:50:42 PM EST
20 bulbs x 40watts each = toooooo much for 600 watt dimmer. Recommend you use 600 watt dimmer and 20 bulbs @ 25 watts. Also, most dimmers turn some of the "unused" power to heat . Better to turn it off than to leave it on LOW all night. Heat good. Much heat bad. Fire real bad. BTW... the switches in the circuit have absolutely nothing to do with the heating up. If the screw connections are tight... you're good to go. Stay safe
Link Posted: 10/18/2004 6:13:46 PM EST
Those dimmers are solid state triac circuits. The triac has a small forward drop and dissipates heat from the current drawn by the load, and it's power handling ability is limited by the heat sink, and must be down-rated for high temps/currents. The dimmer will not last long if it is run over the rated wattage load. 20 x 40 W bulbs is 800 Watts which will draw around 6.7 amps. Twenty 60W bulbs makes it 1200 Watts, drawing 10 amps, which is too much IMO for the fixture, much less the dimmer! The wiring can easily handle the current, but the dimmer will run hot, and likely fail before its time. The fire danger here is more likely the friggin' chandelier running hot as blazes from those hot bulbs.

Better safe than sorry - drop the bulbs wattage as suggested, so the total is a reasonable load, say 600 Watts, and use the beefiest, heaviest, good quality American dimmer you can find.
Link Posted: 10/18/2004 6:49:31 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/18/2004 6:51:26 PM EST by Carbine10]

Try WW Grainger for a bigger dimmer swithch.

Link Posted: 10/18/2004 6:52:58 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/18/2004 6:53:20 PM EST by Boomholzer]
It is hot because you are wasting power in the dimmer's switching ckt to control the intensity of the lights.

Unscrew some of the bulbs to adjust the overal brightness.....much more energy efficient!
Link Posted: 10/18/2004 7:27:28 PM EST
www.lampsplus.com/htmls/prodlist.asp?search=02683

1000 watt dimmer $90 Lamps Plus, I think they're nationwide.
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