Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Instructions for Changing a Light Switch

Parts of a Light Switch
Image Retrieved from Creative Commons Google Images

It is not hard to change out a light switch that is no longer working. Here are the detailed instructions:

  1. Turn the power off at the breaker box before you start work. Most breaker boxes are labeled as to the area of the house each breaker is connected.
  2. Single Toggle Switch Unscrew the cover plate from the wall. A single switch will have (2) screws; a double switch will have (4) screws and so on.
  3. Remove the bad switch by using a screwdriver to remove the (2) screws. One should be at the top and the other directly below.
  4. Pull the switch out as far as you can without pulling apart any other wires.
  5. Usually, if this switch regulates a light or receptacle ONLY at this point, it will have (2) screws on the side. Loosen these screws and remove the wires. You should have (2) black wires and (1) that is completely bare (not covered with insulation). Separate the switch from the wires.
  6. Use this switch (match to type) to purchase your new switch from your local home improvement store.
  7. Place the toggle switch on the OFF position on the new switch. This will show you which direction to place the switch. Reconnect the wires on the side. Make sure the bare wire is on the GREEN screw.
  8. Make sure your connections are tight. DO NOT OVER TIGHTEN.
  9. Gently tuck the wires back into the wall box and remount the switch to this box.
  10. Replace the plastic cover plate and turn on the circuit breakersat the breaker box

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