An easy to follow step by step process for changing out a light switch.
Turn Off The Breaker
The first thing you must do is kill the power going to the outlet. Locate your breaker box and turn off the power before tampering with anything electrical.
Unscrew the Faceplate
Take a flathead (in most cases) or a Phillips head screwdriver and take out the screws holding the faceplate into the wall.
Unscrew the Switch
Take the appropriate screwdriver and unscrew the screws holding the switch in the casing. Once the screws are out pull the switch from the casing so that it is accessible and then let it hang by the wires.
Loosen the Screws Holding the Wires in the Back of the Switch
Loosen the screws just enough to be able to pull the wires from the back of the switch. Then discard the old switch. Separate wires from one another so that they are not touching one another.
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Attach Wires to New Light Switch
Just like you pulled the wires out from the old you are going to insert the wires into the new. If you are having trouble understanding which wire goes where reference the package that the new switch came from as it should contain a diagram.
Mount New Switch to the Casing
Gently push wires back into the casing and position the new switch into place. Then using your fingers with one hand start the screws into the spots until they are in snug and then tighten with the screwdriver.
Turn on Breaker
You want to make sure that your switch has been installed correctly so do this before reattaching faceplate. If there is a trip or a spark kill the power immediately and start over at step five as you probably didn’t position wires in properly.
Attach Faceplate and Enjoy
Easy as pie. Align the faceplate in proper place and tighten lightly so not to crack the new cover. Now everything is done and you just did what an electrician would have charged you $50-80 in a matter of ten minutes. Congratulations!
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Published in: Do-It-Yourself