Replacing a Touch Lamp Control Unit


I received a question from a reader regarding replacing a touch lamp control module. She was reluctant to hook it up without getting confirmation on the correct wiring scheme as the colors on the new module didn’t match the colors on the old one. I picked this question as I myself have connected one wrong. It’s a guy thing not to look at the instruction sheet (much like our reluctance to ask for directions), so I just cut the old unit out and proceeded to connect the new one the way I thought it made sense to connect the new one. As soon as I applied power to the circuit, I let the smoke out of the new unit rendering it useless. The color scheme for the wires on most of these units do not make sense in the real world of color coding for electrical devices. So here’s the question from Pamela:

Hi Terry,

I just have a simple question that I have researched and not found a clear concrete answer to. I got a new 3 way touch sensor switch for my touch lamp. The old sensor has the black, red, white and yellow wires. The new one has the yellow, blk, but brown and grey wires. I have gotten conflicting answers as to which the grey and brown go to. One talks as if the red and grey are the same then another sounds that the red and brown are the same. I hope you can help me as I do not want to connect incorrectly to either hurt the new sensor or the lamp itself.

Thank you for your time,

Pamela sent me a picture showing the old unit and the new one partially connected, with the only question being where does brown and grey connect to, the red or white, the white or red, etc.

touch dimmer wiring picture of actual

Here is a diagram of how the old sensor was connected.

touch lamp diagram original

I asked Pamela to send me the instruction sheet that came with the new dimmer.  Without it I would have guessed at the wrong connections again, given the old wiring colors compared to the new ones.  Here is a scan of the wiring instruction sheet.

the instruction sheet

So given this information, here is the wiring diagram for connecting the new unit.

Touch lamp dimmer new

So it took a few e-mails back and forth with Pamela, but she now has the lamp back up and running like new.

Pamela writes:

Thanks Man!!!!   Now, I hope I can say I do have personal help for any electrical needs??   Have a great day!

As for me, I have a new post for the website!  Keep the questions coming!

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