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Using dimmer switches on my 5 amp lamp circuit

Posted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 4:25 pm
by sunshinejacksonunderhill
Hi, when we had our house renovated and rewired we had a 5 amp, 3 (round) pin lamp circuit wired into most rooms as well as the ceiling lights. Each room's circuit is on a dimmer. None of them have worked for more than a day, and the dimmer for the sitting room circuit failed by overheating once, and then the replacement dimmer failed soon after installation. I can't be certain - because I don't have a circuit that is definitely working to test them on - but I think it is also damaging the lamps that we plug in. Two electricians have shed no light on the problem but I got the sense that they had not dealt with 5 amp lamp circuits before. I simply can't afford to pay another electrician to not fix the problem so I am desperate for some help. A friend has suggested there may be too small a load on the dimmers, causing them to overheat? Please help! Thanks x x Sunshine

Posted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 9:48 pm
by sparx
are the 5A sockets on the dimmers as well as the centre lights? normally separately fed, sometimes via switch.
Dimmer ratings are quite wide ie 40w to 250W or 100w to 400w so if load within range should not be a problem, presume only using 'normal' tungsten filement lamps not low energy ones which require special rated dimmer?
more info on loadings would help to find cause,
regards Sparx

Posted: Fri Jul 10, 2009 6:38 pm
by sunshinejacksonunderhill
Each room has a 2 gang dimmer switch, one dimmer for the ceiling light and one dimmer for the 5 amp lamp circuit. The dimmers for the ceiling lights work fine. They were the standard MK dimmer switches that the electricians bought in great numbers.

The lamps are not fitted with low energy bulbs (though it might have been nice if they'd told me I couldn't use low energy bulbs with my dimmers before installing them).

If I unscrew the plate will the dimmer gubbins have the rating written on it? And do I just add up the 60w lamp bulbs to calculate the load I'm asking it to handle?

Many thanks x x S

Posted: Sat Jul 11, 2009 8:28 pm
by sparx
Hi, yes the rating is usually marked, & yess total up wattage on each one and ensure its in range of switches,
regards Sparx