How to Repair or Replace a Light Switch

Light switches are our way to light up our worlds but unfortunately they can break or you may want a different type of light switch. Many homeowners are surprised to know that light switches are not very complicated matter and many people can DIY this issue. Of course, if you are going to change your own light switch you need to know how to do it. Follow these steps to change your own light switch in a snap.

When replacing your light switch you need to know what type of switch you currently have. Here are the basic types of light switches.

  • Single-pole: Single-pole switch are the most common in American households.
  • Three-Way: Allow you to switch on a light from multiple locations
  • Four-Way: Similar to three way switch but you can control it from 3 separate locations.
  • Double-pole: A light switch with two terminals. Used to control multiple light sources on a single junction box.
  • Dimmer: Limits the flow of electricity to control a light’s output. CFLs do not work with dimmer switches.

How to Repair or Replace a Light Switch

Note: Always disconnect the main power to a light switch before changing it. Failure to do so could cause electrocution.

What You Will Need

  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Phillips screwdriver
  1. Use a flathead screwdriver to unscrew the lights witch face plate.
  2. Unscrew the actual switch from the junction box.
  3. Use the Philips screwdriver to unscrew all three wires that connect to the light switch. Take a picture of the switch with wires connected if you need a reference for putting them on the correct connections during reassembly.
  4. Screw the wires back onto the correct connections of your new switch.
  5. Reattach the switch back to the junction box.
  6. Reattach the face plate of your switch.
  7. Turn power back on to the light switch to test it out.

Just seven simple steps is all the separates you from a brand new switch. Always remember to turn the power off before you begin and if you are uncomfortable at all with changing your switches, simply call on a professional.

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