4 Switches to 2?

sophie123March 20, 2012

I have a den that when built in the 90s they put in 4 single pole switches - one for ceiling fan and three for lights around the room (like two recessed lights each) each with a rotary dial for dimming. Its annoying and the dimmer caps have worn out. I'm repainting the room so i'm thinking of trying to fix that. Ideally i'd like one dimmer switch for all the recessed lights that is modern like lutron maestro and one control for the fan. I'd like to add a light kit for fan if it isn't too ugly so dual control on that.

So my questions are:

1) is it going to require an electrican to go from 4 gang wall plate to 2 gang wallplate? ie 4 switches to 2 switches. does it need a new box mounted? not sure i'm up for that.

2) if i got a light kit can i control that individually with a lutron fan light switch.

3) if i can't go away from the 4 switches, any suggestions on how to make it simple to turn off and on all the lights in the room?

Thanks!

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brickeyee

"is it going to require an electrican to go from 4 gang wall plate to 2 gang wallplate? ie 4 switches to 2 switches. does it need a new box mounted? not sure i'm up for that. "

It will take a new box & wall patching.

Not very difficult though.

You can get wireless kits to control fan speed and lighting.

For hard wired control you need extra wires from the switch to the fan.

How easy it is to change from multiple light switches to a single switch depends on how it is wired.

If power comes to the switch box and is than split there it is very easy.
If there are separate switch loops (possible, but unlikely) it likely would be a little more difficult (and might involve running some new cables).

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 2:53PM
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bus_driver

The 4 switches offer a flexibility that will be lost if changes are made. It is possible at present to operate just a few of the lights or more in combinations that will not be possible later. Electricity costs will rise for the foreseeable future.
If it was mine, I would retain the present system.

Here is a link that might be useful: Discussion

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 3:48PM
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brickeyee

"The 4 switches offer a flexibility that will be lost if changes are made. "

Or you can use a single dimmer.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 6:59PM
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sophie123

Still mulling this over. Thanks for the insight and instructions on how to fix!

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 7:41PM
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sophie123

Ok i decided to keep all the switches and go to the decorator dimmer style by Lutron (Diva) which are easier to flip all on or off. I turned off the circuit breaker and opened up the switches. The old dimmers had no ground wire while my new Lutron switches have a green wire. The box is metal and in the back is a bunch of bare metal copper wires taped together. I assume they are the ground wires. Do i take the ground wires of the new switches, twist them together with a pig tail and take the pig tail and twist it with the old bare wires in the back of the box? I found a bare copper wire - can i use that as the pig tail? Thanks!

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 8:46PM
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sophie123

Ok i decided to keep all the switches and go to the decorator dimmer style by Lutron (Diva) which are easier to flip all on or off. I turned off the circuit breaker and opened up the switches. The old dimmers had no ground wire while my new Lutron switches have a green wire. The box is metal and in the back is a bunch of bare metal copper wires taped together. I assume they are the ground wires. Do i take the ground wires of the new switches, twist them together with a pig tail and take the pig tail and twist it with the old bare wires in the back of the box? I found a bare copper wire - can i use that as the pig tail? Thanks!

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 8:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sophie123

Ok i decided to keep all the switches and go to the decorator dimmer style by Lutron (Diva) which are easier to flip all on or off. I turned off the circuit breaker and opened up the switches. The old dimmers had no ground wire while my new Lutron switches have a green wire. The box is metal and in the back is a bunch of bare metal copper wires taped together. I assume they are the ground wires. Do i take the ground wires of the new switches, twist them together with a pig tail and take the pig tail and twist it with the old bare wires in the back of the box? I found a bare copper wire - can i use that as the pig tail? Thanks!

    Bookmark   April 18, 2012 at 7:16AM
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