Instructables

Safe and Simple Light Switch Swap:

Picture of Safe and Simple Light Switch Swap:
This instructable is for anyone who needs to swap out an old light switch for a new one. For the most part, swapping out a light switch is going to be an easy task. This instructable will take those who aren't as comfortable with home electronics through a safe and simple process for the desired results.

Reason's to replace a light switch:
Over time the parts inside the switch wear down or break. This wear can make the device difficult or sometimes impossible to use. Its at this point where you want to swap out the switch for a new one.
Another reason to swap out the switch is to improve its utility or aesthetic features. Light switches come in various shapes, sizes, and colors, choosing the right one is up to you.

Replacing a light switch should only take 5 to 15 minutes.
 
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Step 1: Materials and Tools Required:

Picture of Materials and Tools Required:
Materials List:
-New light switch
-New faceplate (optional)

(Optional) Replacing the faceplate is not a requirement to replace the switch, but the faceplate needs to come off anyway so swapping it is easy.
Note: the faceplate screws into the light switch; make sure that these two materials match each other before beginning.

Tools List:
-Screwdriver
-Needle nose pliers
-Electrical tape
-Wire stripping tool (optional)

Step 2: Turn Off the Power:

Picture of Turn Off the Power:
 WARNING: working with electrical devices with current running through them can cause serious injury or death.
This is a simple step, but it is the most important part of this entire process.
Go to your circuit breaker (it will look remarkably similar to the one in the picture) and turn off the power going to the light switch you want to work on.
Now you can mess up anything you want/need to on the light without any serious problems. The danger is gone; have fun with the rest of this tutorial.

A somewhat related 15 second video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZVDm3gIhOI
zchampine3 years ago
You may want to take your multi-meter and test that your power is actually off after you circuit breaker is switched off, the switch might be part of a different circuit and still have live electricity. Or, just flip the switch if you're not replacing it because it no longer works.
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