There will come a time when your light switch will fail you. When that happens, it pays to know how to replace it on your own. But first, make certain that the switch is the real problem and not the light bulb.
Below are some tips to help make the job easier (save buying an electrical test tool).
- Turn off the electrical circuit that feeds power to the switch. To do this, remove the fuse in the electrical service panel or turn off the breaker that feeds power to the light switch.
- Next, remove all the screws that hold the cover plate in place. Use the appropriate screwdriver for this, and use gentle pressure for pulling out the worn light switch to make certain that you don’t damage the old electrical wiring.
- Once you’ve pulled out the switch, inspect the condition of the wiring and check the markings. Note that a switch is usually connected to a black wire or hot wire. In some instances, it’s connected to a white wire with a black tape and the end to indicate that it is a hot wire.
- Detach the old light switch by detaching the connected black wires. Do not do anything to the white or neutral wire and the bare or green wires, which are the ground wires.
- You can now install the replacement switch. If the wiring’s ground wire is bare, connect that the switch’s green terminal screw and then connect the black wires to the new switch’s terminals. Push the replacement switch into the box and then secure it with the screws located at the switch’s bottom and top portions.
- The last step is to secure the cover plate and then turn on the breaker to send power to the new light switch. Voila! You’re done.
Before attempting to replace the light switch, however, ensure that you’ve really turned off the breaker. Tools like a voltage detector are perfect for this. It’s inexpensive, easy to use, and could safeguard you against electrocution.