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How To Change a Light Switch

Electrical anything seems to the the fear of most DIY consumers. Here we will explain the correct way to install a standard single gang light switch.


The first and most important part of this install will be to find which breaker or fuse the light switch is connected to in your breaker box. This sometimes can be tricky due to the fact they most of the time they do not label them, or label them correctly. If they are you are in luck!

Find the breaker to the switch and turn it off.


Remove the screws from the switch plate cover using a screwdriver. It is not recommended to use a drill driver or impact when removing or installing these screws.

Remove the switch face plate to expose the switch and wiring.

Check the power is off using a voltage tester. If the tester shows the power is off. Proceed.

Once the power is off, remove the screws holding the light switch into the junction box.

Pull switch out to expose the wiring.

Three wires run to most switches. Black being the Hot, White being the Neutral and the Copper being the ground. Green is also sometimes used for the ground.

Next loosen the screws holding the wires to the switch. keep in mind where each color was on the switch. We have found the best way to do this is to loosen and remove one wire at a time and install it onto the new switch in the same order.

Note: Hot Wires always go to brass or black screws. Ground always goes to the green screw.

Check your wire connectors at this time and replace as needed. If the are cracked or loose. If they are melted, it is time to call a professional.


Install the new switch back into the junction box and place the switch plate back over the switch. Drive the screw plate screws back into the plate. Turn on your power and test.





Here are some videos on different switches:





Note: Ace fix it Hardware or Ace Hardware hold no liability or responsibility for damages occurred from improper installation. This is a informational Guide for a standard install of a switch. Your local codes may vary based on location. If you have any doubts during your install contact a professional.

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