Home Interior
Home Exterior
Interior Design
Site Map


Replace A Light Switch

Removing The Old Switch: Turn off the power at your main power box. Take off the plastic cover switch. Next test to see if the electricity was completely shut off by touching the wires and terminals (screws located at the side of the switch) with a voltage indicator. If the indicator’s light goes on, you still have power and must go back to the power box and turn off the correct circuit breaker or fuse.

Remove the screws that attach the switch to the outlet box. Pull out the switch a little, but remember the switch is not completely free because it is still attached to the wires. Gently pull the switch out of the box so you have some room to work with the wires. Use a screwdriver to loosen the terminals (screws) on the switch and unwind the wires from around the screws. If the wires were inserted into the holes in the back of the switch, place a small screwdriver into the slot located next to each hole to release the wires. Remove the old switch.

Installing The New Switch: You will need at least ˝ inch of bare wire to wrap around the terminals. If you do not have enough bare wire, use a wire stripper to remove the coating on the wires. Hold the new switch in your hand, making sure the off position is at the top. If the switch reads “no” or “ffo, the switch is upside down. The wires you removed from the switch will either both be black or will have one black and one white wire. These wires should be wrapped around the 2 metal terminals. If you have a green or copper grounding wire, connect them to the green terminal on the switch. It is a good idea to connect the grounding wire first. Bend the tip of each wire into a loop with needle nose pliers and curl it around the correct terminal. Wrap the wire in a clockwise direction. Use a screwdriver to tighten the terminal screws into place.

When all the wires have been properly connected, carefully push the switch back into the outlet box. Make sure the grounding wire is not touching the other wires. Screw the switch to the outlet box. Turn on the power at your main power box and use the voltage indicator to make sure your switch is receiving electricity. If the indicator light does not go on, turn off the main power switch and repeat all the steps again. If it still does not work, call an electrician.



Home Tips &
Related Articles

Replace A Outlet


Send Us Your
Home Repair Tips

Appliance Reviews
Submit A Review

Tool Reviews
Submit A Tool Review