Sunday, April 13, 2014

The $75 dimmer switch

Several years back we put a dimmer switch on our dining room light. Lately, when trying to slide it to turn on or off it's flickering and shorting out.  So, I went and bought a new dimmer switch at Home Depot. Same brand - just a bit different in that it has an on/off switch and a slider.  $23 bucks.  DH installs it. Starts to shove all the wiring back inside the box to put the cover back on and I say, why don't you see if it works first?. oh yeah, good idea.  So, I go flip the breaker back on and and POP! The brand new dimmer switch blows out!

So, DH is trying to figure out what happened (he really knows nothing about electricity, mind you). Says he vaguely remembers having problems with the first dimmer switch installed 7 years ago or so. But, he must not have as it didn't blow out and it worked.  He figures he must have had some wires touching or something. So, back to Home Depot I go to buy another dimmer switch....another $23 bucks.  He installs it and POP! There goes that dimmer switch. I suggested DH call our good neighbor, because he does seem to know a bit about electrical stuff (his job is installing traffic signals) and DH of course doesn't want to do that.  That's not manly.

Finally I just said I'm going to go buy the normal on/off rocker switch like was originally in there and like is on all our other light switches....and I'm going to go buy it at the mobile home parts place out at the end of the highway. While there I can also finally get the kitchen sink strainers I've been needing forever (nothing in mfg'd home is standard and these are off sized - 3" ones that no stores carry). $5 bucks for the light switch and $4 each for the strainer baskets. On the way home DH calls says he called good neighbor, he came over and showed him what he did wrong. Apparently DH was treating the wiring hook up like a plug in socket and not a switch. Doh!  So, if I want to spend another $23 and stop and get another dimmer switch he knows how to install it now. So, detour to Home Depot again and spend another $23.

Third times a charm and now we have a $75 dimmer switch for our dining room light.  Like I told DH - just look at it as a $50 education in electrical knowledge.  Geez!  Oh, and the kitchen sink baskets?  The guy gave me 2 different sizes, so now I have to go back to exchange. I had even questioned him that they looked kind of bigger than 3" (I had apparently picked up the bigger one to look at it) and he was being a butthead about the whole thing and I set it down and picked up the other one (the right one) and then thought to myself, "oh, ok it's right". 

Next up on the home projects list is a new screen/storm door.  Might go buy that today. We'll see how DH is feeling. It's a sunny warm day and he might feel like working on something. Our old screen door lost it's ability to close slowly and not slam and if I have to hear that screen door slam one more time I'm going to go insane. I don't know why DH can't just pull it shut without slamming it. DD and I manage to close it nice and quietly every single time....


  1. Okay, I am going to have to figure out what that difference is. I didn't know there was a difference in wiring for a switch and outlet! That WAS expensive, but now you know.

  2. Definitely not your day :) But hopefully, you will enjoy this switch for years to come...

  3. Haha, $50 education sounds about right... My dad knows ALL there is to know about wiring, electric and fixing things... But me? I'll be lucky if I can unscrew something without running the screw and getting it stuck. I wish knowledge was genetic! Glad you all got it figured out.

  4. Ummmm ... because he's a man?