8 steps to replace a wall switch

8 steps to replace a wall switch

If the wall switch is coming loose, the light flickers when you flip the switch, or if on/off are no longer distinctly defined, you may need to replace the wall switch.

Here are 8 steps to replace a wall switch: 8 ways to replace a wall switch

You will need

  • standard screwdriver
  • razor blade or utility knife
  • a new switch model
  • wire stripper
  • long-nose pliers
  1. Turn off the power at the mains.
  2. Remove the switch plate. If it’s screwed in, unscrew with a screwdriver. It might be held in place by a layer of paint, so using a razor blade or utility knife, cut the paint around the edge of the wall switch plate. Once loose, remove it.
  3. When you have your new switch, repeat steps 1 and 2. The switch itself will still be screwed into the wall. Unscrew and remove it, with wires still attached. You can expect to see three
    wires: BLACK or BROWN, which is an incoming ‘hot’ or live wire, BLACK, RED, or any colour EXCEPT GREEN is a return wire, which carries the load to the fixture, and GREEN or BARE COPPER, which is a grounding wire. Any other wires you see aren’t relevant to this replacement. NOTE: If you see a white wire with black tape, it’s being used as a black or coloured wire, and so it isn’t neutral.
  4. Compare your new switch to the old one to see the corresponding spots for the electrical screw connectors. The best and safest way to replace the wires is one at a time, to prevent confusion about which goes where.
  5. Prepare the new switch for installation. Remove about 13mm of insulation from the ends of the wires with the wire stripper. Twist the end into a clockwise loop with long-nose pliers.
  6. Some switches have screws you attach the wires to, while others have small holes you push them through. If it has holes, push the wires through. If it has screws, wrap the loop two-thirds of the way round the terminal screw. Make sure it’s no more than three-quarters of the way round. Hook the wire clockwise around the screw so when you tighten the screw clockwise, the loop also wraps tighter around the screw.
  7. Gently place the new, wired switch back into the electrical box and screw into position.
  8. Screw on the switch plate, then turn on the power and test your light.



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