Replace A Light Switch
It’s not every day you discover you need to replace a light switch. But it does happen. A light switch is usually reliable enough to continue to work for decades; most light switches see little-to-no hard, destructive use. If you do ever discover you have to replace a light switch, and you are concerned about working with electricity, know that it is a relatively simple and straightforward job that almost anyone can do with the right tools and a few minutes of their time. Here’s how…
You will need an appropriate style and size of screwdriver. Too big a screwdriver and you won’t be able to turn the small screws that are included with a switch, and too small a screwdriver and the extra space between the driver and the screw might cause the driver to scrape away at the metal, possibly stripping it out. You’ll also need a voltage detector, needle nose pliers, and the new switch. All tools you will find in the aisles at your local Ace Hardware.
To begin, turn off the power at the circuit breaker. Never, ever work on electrical appliances or components while the electricity is powered on. If the light switch is functioning, turn the switch to the on position and then the off position to determine if the electricity is off. Then, when the power appears off, unscrew the switch’s faceplate. Use a voltage tester on the wires supporting the switch. If there isn’t any electrical current coming to the switch, remove the screws that hold the switch to the wall. Take a picture on your phone or draw a picture to show the location of the wires at the back of the switch (It’s easy to forget the locations of the wires when it’s time to reassemble). Remove the wires from the back and keep all the wires separate. Reattach the wires in the same way as they were attached to the old switch. Reinstall the switch to the wall and the faceplate over the switch. Turn the electricity back on at the breaker, and test your work.
Electrical components and appliances can be dangerous if safety protocols are ignored.