Monday, September 9, 2013

49-cent Dimmer Fix

The dimmer switch controlling our family room lighting started making sizzling noises when you flipped the switch, and finally died. This type of dimmer has an on/off switch and a brightness slider. I took apart the switch and found the little rocker switch inside failed a simple resistance test with a multimeter.

The Lutron S-10P dimmer switch is $76 at Lowes, $65 at Home Depot, $50 online, as it does handle 1000W loads (that's the largest size offered by Lutron.) The simple rocker switch shown above is $0.49 at Jameco ( part number 1945284) and is rated 10A @ 125VAC. The switch is black instead of white, but we think the install shown below doesn't look too shabby.

Not much to tell about replacing the rocker switch. Using a soldering iron, you remove the defunct switch and solder on the new one. The trick is finding a replacement having the correct dimensions. This one isn't a perfect match, is a little bit recessed and doesn't have quite the curved switch as the original.