Replacing A Light Switch In your home
There’s no better way to understand how an electrical circuit works than to replace a single pole light switch, whether it’s positioned along or at the tip of the circuit.
Today, I’m going to indicate you how one can replace a single pole light switch, while also providing you with a lesson in electrical safety. For information on the right way to replace a 3 or four way switch, see our list of Frequently Asked Questions specific to this video.
Before starting any electrical project, it’s essential know the way to access your electrical service panel to show off the electrical supply to the circuit you might be engaged on to avoid getting shocked. It’s also extremely important to carefully read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. In case you have any doubts about performing any of those tasks, you must call a licensed electrician to do the work. But when you’re up for it, let’s get started.
Your project actually begins at the electrical supply panel, which can be commonly known as a breaker box or fuse box. You first need to find the breaker or fuse that shuts off the circuit that you will be working on. This might take just a few trips back and forth to the room to double check, and it’s always handy to have some help for this step.
Once you’ve found the correct breaker, flip it to the off position. When you have a fuse box, unscrew and remove the fuse controlling the circuit you’re engaged on. Whenever you return to the room you’re working in, double check that the ability is off by testing the light switch you’re replacing. Flip in on and off several times. If the sunshine stays off, you’ve turned off the proper circuit.
One handy tool that I am never without on an electrical project is this handy voltage tester. By holding it near the light switch and pressing the button, a blinking light and beeper signals if there’s any live electrical current present. If it signals there remains to be electrical current present after you’ve turned the breaker off, you’ll have to turn power to the complete house off and proceed with a battery powered light or call an electrician.
Now that we now have confirmed that there isn’t any power running to the switch, it’s time to illuminate the work area. Since you’ll be working and not using a light, you’ll need an alternate light source like this halogen work light. Depending on whether or not the outlets within the room are on the identical circuit as the light, you may need an extension cord to plug the work light into a distinct room.
Next, remove the old light switch. Start by taking off the switch plate by removing the two screws that secure it to the light switch. Then remove the two screws that hold the switch to the electrical box within the wall. Pull the switch out of the box. Now is a good time to carefully examine the way in which the existing switch is wired. This known as the wiring setup, and also you want to duplicate it with the brand new switch, exactly. You could want to take an image of it in case it’s essential to confer with it later or you can mark the wires with colored tape. Now remove the old wires.
To install the new switch you first need to make sure it’s oriented correctly. Check to verify the word TOP is on top of the switch. Then reconnect the wires exactly the way you disconnected them.
This particular light switch has both terminal screw connectors on the side in addition to push wire holes in back. While it’s OK to use either of these connection points, most electricians prefer to use the terminal screws because it’s a more secure connection.
To connect the wires to the terminal screws, wrap just a little greater than ½ inch of the stripped wire clockwise around the terminal screws and tighten with a screwdriver. It helps to have a pair of needle nose pliers for this step to bend a loop on the end of the wire before placing it around the terminal screw. Simply connect the black wire to the brass screw and the neutral wire to the silver screw. Then connect the ground wire to the green screw on the opposite side of the switch.
Now, carefully push the switch back into the box and secure it with screws. Then replace the switch plate and turn the ability back on to test.
With only a simple flip of the switch you’ll be basking in the sunshine of knowing that you did it yourself, with a little help out of your local independent home improvement retailer.
When you have questions about this or every other home improvement project, remember to read our list of Frequently Asked Questions for this video. And be sure to print out our Project Instructions, which features a Tools and Materials checklist, before visiting your local independent home improvement retailer. That’s where you’ll find all the products and helpful advice to complete your project. If you’re undecided where to search out your local store, check out our Store Locator.