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How to Repair a Light Dimmer

Updated February 21, 2017

Dimmer switches are installed to adjust the level of light in a room. When less light is needed, you can turn the dimmer switch down, which saves energy. You also can turn it back up when more light is required. However, if the dimmer switch is not working properly, it will need to be fixed. The best way to fix a broken dimmer switch is to replace it with a new one. New switches are available online or from your local hardware or home improvement store.

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  1. Turn off the power for the room where the switch is located. Turn off the breaker at the circuit panel or remove the fuse.

  2. Remove the screws that are securing the wall plate to the wall with the screwdriver. Remove the screws that are securing the switch to the electrical box.

  3. Pull the old dimmer switch out of the wall. Loosen the screw terminals on the back of the switch. Remove the electrical wires. Set the old dimmer switch aside.

  4. Attach the electrical wires to the new dimmer switch. Twist together the black (hot) electrical wire to the black wire on the switch. Cover the wires with a wire cover. Repeat this step for the white (neutral) electrical wire and white wire on the dimmer switch.

  5. Twist together the bare ground wire or green ground wire with the ground wire on the dimmer switch. Cover the wires with a wire cover.

  6. Place the switch back into the electrical box. Secure the switch to the electrical box with the screws.

  7. Set the faceplate back in place. Secure it to the wall with the screws. Turn the power back on to the room. Test the switch.

  8. Warning

    Do not perform any electrical work without first turning off the power at the circuit panel.

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Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver
  • New dimmer switch
  • Wire covers

About the Author

Cameron Easey has over 15 years customer service experience, with eight of those years in the insurance industry. He has earned various designations from organizations like the Insurance Institute of America and LOMA. Easey earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and history from Western Michigan University.

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