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Light Switch Wiring Quick Start Guide

DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY:  hammer-1-5

 If you want to install a new light switch or replace one in your home, it's not hard to do.

Are you terrified of electricity? Many are. The reason is because it's invisible and you don't possess the confidence to do the job. I can't make electricity visible, but I can increase your confidence!

I rate this project one out of five hammers because all you have to do is cut off the power to the switch and use a few basic hand tools. I know you can do both. 

lightswitchwiring

If you're one who is really afraid, let's just practice on a switch that's in your hand and use a scrap piece of wire that's not at all connected to any electric circuit. That's the first step in overcoming your fear.

Watch the video below unless you’ve come here from YouTube having watched my video.

Be sure to look at the RELATED CONTENT links at the bottom of this page. Lots of goodies there for you.

REQUIRED TOOLS & MATERIALS:

         
dotInsulated Screwdriver set  toolsinsulatedscrewdrivers   dotNeedle Nose Pliers toolsneedlenose
dotSafety Glasses  toolssafetyglasses   dotWire Strippers (for new installations only)  toolswirestrippers
dotVoltage Meter - Check to ensure power is off  toolsvoltmeter   dotElectrical Tape toolselectrical tape
dotWire Nuts toolswirenuts   dotSingle Pole Switch toolssinglepoleswitch
dot3-Way Switch tools3wayswitch    dotTape Measure  toolsfatmaxtapemeasure
dotTim's Favorite Tools timcartoon50x50      

TIPS:

  • Turn ON Light in Room
  • Have helper turn off circuit breaker so you see light bulb go OUT or OFF.
  • Remove light switch cover plate.
  • Unscrew light switch from electrical box and pull it out of box - Do NOT touch screws on side of switch!
  • Double check power is OFF using voltage meter.
  • Blow out dust and debris from inside of electric box.
  • Check insulation on all wires. Look for cracks, splits or melted insulation. Tape defective wires with electrical tape OR call in a professional electrician for help.
  • Remove wires from old switch and install new switch.
  • Loop wires onto screws so as the screw is tightened the end of the wire closes around the screw. WATCH VIDEO for this tip. Very Important!!!
  • Optional: Install a band of electrical tape over body of switch isolating screw heads.
  • Reinstall switch into electric box keeping ground and neutral wires away from screws on sides of switch.
  • Reinstall cover plate.
  • Turn on circuit breaker and test new switch.
  • Celebrate your Victory!

 

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6 Responses to Light Switch Wiring Quick Start Guide

  1. Tim, excellent guide. I do have a suggestion: elaborate on step 5 with details on exactly how to use a voltage meter, i.e. what to touch with each probe. I'm barely above a newbie when it comes to electricity, so this step would be helpful to us electric novices.

  2. Your daughter is right . We do live in a society that trains us to look for instant gratification .
    Usually it does not work that way , but we need something fast , that will hook us . In order to keep us going further .

    Thanks for your time and your patience .

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