Hot Wire

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Frequently Asked Questions...

How to hook up a dimmer and transformer for a hot wire cutter?

I have a 25 volt 2 amp transformer from radioshack and a non push dimmer from walmart. The dimmer has two black wires and one green. The transformer has on one side two yellows and a black and on the other side two blacks. I need to know how to hook the dimmer up to an outlet then how to wire it to the transformer.

Best Answer...


The number of wires on the transformer don't match with the stated voltages. The two blacks are probably the 120 volts input (assuming this is the US) but the 3 wires on the secondary imply you have a center-tap secondary, possibly 25 volts center tapped at 2 amps. I'm also assuming that the hot wire is sized to operate on 25 volts.

The transformer should come with some sort of labels for the wires, if not take it back and get one that does.

Once you get the transformer straightened out, here is a wiring list.

AC hot from line cord black wire to one side of a 1 amp fuse holder
AC neutral from line cord white wire to one of the line connections of the transformer
AC ground from line cord green wire to transformer case and to case of dimmer (green) and to metal case this is all mounted in.

Other side of fuse holder to one of black wires of dimmer
Other black wire from dimmer to the second of the line connections of the transformer

One of secondary wires on transformer to one side of the hot wire
Other secondary wire on transformer to other side of the hot wire
Tie the center tap of the secondary, if there is one, to ground. If not, tie one of the secondary wires to ground.

You will note that I included a small 1 amp fuse.
You can get a small metal box to mount this stuff in, or a electrical junction box. The latter is better as it has punchouts for cable in and out. Be sure to clamp the wires where they enter and leave the box.