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5824 posts

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  #1544719 1-May-2016 08:49
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My dining room's lights are driving me nuts with a high frequency flickering.


The light switch for these lights has a dimmer switch that doesn't do anything (even with incandescent bulbs). I've tried changing the bulbs (including different sorts of bulb) with no joy. I am pretty sure I've seen a similar flickering previously and it was a faulty dimmer. While I am happy to call a sparky come Monday, I am not sure I can take another 24 hours of the flickering. It's a new place and we've only been here a couple of days, so I don't have a before to compare to.


Can I legally and safely remove the dimmer unit from the light switch to see if that fixes it? What do I do?



My understanding is that you and I can install things like light fittings if we aren't sparkies....but power switches and outlets are supposed to be done by electricians. 


I had a couple of dimmer switches that controls overhead uplights in two rooms. I didn't like the heat from the spots that had been in them, so I replaced them with dimmable CFLs. But the CFLs would emit an audible buzz at certain light levels so I rarely dimmed them. After 18 months.....I realised we never dim them anyway.....We had actually added a floor lamp....and some smaller lights and we turn those on instead if we don't want overhead lights. So I had a sparky around a couple of weeks ago and had them removed. 


No dimmers left. 


I've been on Geekzone over 16 years..... Time flies.... 


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  #1544748 1-May-2016 10:22
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As long as you own the house you can pretty much do anything that doesn't involve working on the switchboard. The energy safety website has full details.

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  #1544778 1-May-2016 11:42
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You have to own the house and live in it. So no working on rental properties.

From Electricit (Safety) Regulations 2010

57 Exemption for domestic electrical wiring work
A person who carries out prescribed electrical work in reliance on the exemption in section 79 of the Act (exemption for domestic electrical wiring work) must carry it out, and test the work, in accordance with ECP 51.
For the purposes of section 79(1)(a) of the Act, the domestic electrical wiring work that an owner of premises may do is work of any type described in subclause (3) on a domestic installation that has a maximum demand at or below—
80 amperes per phase if single-phase; or
50 amperes per phase if multi-phase.
The work to which subclause (2) relates is any of the following:
removing and replacing fuse links:
connecting and disconnecting fixed-wired appliances:
relocating existing switches, socket-outlets, and lighting outlets that are supplied with electricity by tough plastic-sheathed cables:
removing and replacing any of the following kinds of fittings (but only if the work does not involve work on a switchboard):
switches, socket-outlets, and light fittings:
permanent connection units, ceiling roses, cord-grip lampholders, and flexible cords connected to any of them:
batten holders:
water heater switches:
installing, extending, and altering subcircuits (including submains), but only if—
the person does not enter (whether directly, or by holding any material or equipment, or otherwise) any enclosure where live conductors are likely to be present; and
the work is tested and certified in accordance with Part 2 of AS/NZS 3000, before being connected to a power supply, by a person authorised to inspect mains work.

I've been told that you can't use this exemption to do parts of new work and have an electrician that wasn't an inspector complete it. You would have to be directly supervised.

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  #1544782 1-May-2016 11:49
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It's a fairly simple job, if you know what you're doing.


If you own the house, and you live in it yourself, then you are allowed to make this change, as you're not introducing or moving fixed wiring.




However, if you haven't done this before, it's a relatively cheap and fast job for an electrician to perform, and you don't risk dying.




I don't think it's right for anyone to try and guide you through something with mains voltage wiring, over the internet.
It just isn't.

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Uber Geek

  #1544783 1-May-2016 11:57
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In case you have already safely removed the dimmer and instead of throwing it away had a look what's inside and wish to DIY fix it:


Schematics could be very similar to what you find in the other "floor type" dimmers (on the right) or in the vacuum cleaner motor speed control (on the left):  



Note: not selling, this is to give an idea as dimmers could cost a lot but are quite simple devises...

  #1544824 1-May-2016 12:45
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Dimmers are normally sealed units. Not easy to get into to repair.

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  #1544877 1-May-2016 14:16
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larknz: Dimmers are normally sealed units. Not easy to get into to repair.


Did not have a chance to dismantle the wall dimmer as I have none. But the floor one is easy (4 screws) and schematics is similar. Dismantled 2 floor dimmers from different manufacturers and a number of vacuum cleaners to notice similarity and same components used.



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