A rheostat, or dimmer, makes it possible to vary the current flowing to a light fixture thereby varying the intensity of the light. The dimmer switch will have stranded wires that must be sliced to the solid cable wiring with a pigtail. A device like this should only be used with an incandescent light fixture and not with a ceiling fan or other motor. See wiring a speed controller for wiring a rheostat to control fan speed.
This diagram illustrates another multiple light circuit controlled by 3 way switches. Here the source and the fixtures come before the switches. As with the other diagrams on this page, more lights can be added by duplicating the arrangement between the fixtures.
When using this device for heavy appliances like washing machines and microwaves, it should be connected to a dedicated 20-amp/120-volt circuit breaker. As of 2014, a GFCI receptacle is now required in a laundry room for the washing machine.
To wire more than one GFCI receptacle in the same circuit, connect the source to the line terminals on each device using a pigtail splice. The load terminals are not used for this circuit. See more GFCI wiring diagrams at this link.
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