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Plumberpro, Plumber
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 40
Experience:  Fully qualified plumbing , heating and gas engineer 20 years experience
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Yesterday, an electrician arrived to change my 2 old single

Customer Question

Yesterday, an electrician arrived to change my 2 old single bulb drop ceiling lights for 2 semi flush ones. The new lights each take 6 40w golfball small screw bulbs. I also wanted the old two way wall switch changed for a 2 gang dimmer switch as the fittings and bulbs I bought are all dimmable. I had also bought the dimmer switch - a 250 watt standard dimmer switch (I knew nothing about variable voltage availability for switches). I had purchased 12 x 28 watt energy saving bulbs that could replace 40 w bulbs.The electrician (a 'Local Hero' ) arrived around midday and was still at my house at 5pm!! He went and bought a single dimmer to replace the alternative single light switch on the wall adjoining the kitchen (nice of him - he offered this and had to drive to the local Homebase) and he fitted the two-way dimmer where the old double switch had been on the main wall. Before he left for Homebase, the double dimmer was working and the alternative switch turned on one of the fittings.When he got back and fitted the new single dimmer, the double dimmer only lit one fitting. The other barely glowed or didn't work at all. He must have changed the switches from dimmer to old and back again 3-4 times. He removed the fittings and checked them. I was dispatched to buy another double dimmer switch as it was pronounced faulty. I bought another standard switch - 250 v - because that was all I could see and the electrician had told me all dimmer switches were "standard". So, I paid £11 for the first double dimmer (Amazon) and £14.99 for the second (Homebase). Neither of them worked. if the electric***** *****ged the gang leading to a fitting, it lit up the right fitting but he could not get both fittings to light up.When the electrician suggested it might be a voltage problem, he removed 4 x 28 bulbs from one fitting and 2 x 28 bulbs form the other and the double dimmer STILL did not work. Nothing worked.At 5 pm, he left bloody and bowed - having spent a day on a light fitting job for a token payment. I felt really sorry for him but also for myself! After all, my living lights are blindingly bright (it's not a big room) and I have two useless dimmer switches worth almost £26 and I too had to stay in all day, on a precious day off.Please can someone tell me how this can be rectified?? Is it a voltage problem? The electrician says the wiring, dimmer switches and fittings are all working well and as they should be.When he'd gone. I got on line and discovered that dimmer switches are not 'standard' - you can get them in 400 and 600 watt strengths!Do I need to buy 6 x 5 watt lights and put 3 x 28 w and 3 x 5 w in the fittings, or do I need yet another, more powerful double dimmer switch??? Whatever happens, I'm going to have to pay another electrical installation fee.Thank you - sorry for the saga! It was sort of therapeutic writing it, though...
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Home Improvement
Expert:  JamesI replied 10 months ago.

Hi, thank you for choosing Just Answer, my name is ***** ***** I will help with your query today.

I am sorry to hear of your issue. Firstly you can get dimmer controls in a range of wattages, you also have to be careful as not all bulbs are 'dimmerable'.

The fact you said on ceciling light was working and the other dim\barely on suggests the lights have not been wired properly (it suggests they have been wired in series rather than parallel).

So I am clear both lights are now fitted with 6 x 28 watt energy bulbs which brings your total load to less than 336W (12 x 28W)?

Next does the box the bulbs came in say they are dimmerable, if it doesnt say what is the exact make and model and I will see if I can look up the spec.