How to change a light switch – Instructions for changing a light switch

If you want to change a light switch yourself but don’t want to hire an electrician then keep reading. Replacing an old light switch with a new switch is not a hard project to take on yourself. You don’t need an electrician’s license to get the job done. Common sense should tell you that working with electrical wiring is dangerous so you want to make sure you have good instructions before you get started.

If you have a new switch already and you want to get started you will also need some tools. Make sure you have screw drivers to take the cover plate off and take the old switch out of the switch box, you will also need wire cutters and needle nose pliers. That should be it unless you want to use electrical tape to wrap the contacts on the new switch after you have it wired.

1) First and most important thing for you to do is to turn the power off to that switch at the breaker box. Use an electrical tester at the switch to verify that the power is actually off.

2) Second thing to do is to unscrew and take off the face (or cover) plate of the old switch.

3) Now you can unscrew the old switch from the electrical box and pull the switch out of the box so you can get to the screws on either side of the switch and then unscrew enough to pull wires off.

4) Now that you have the switch pulled out the first wire to disconnect is the ground wire. The ground wire is an uncovered wire that is attached to a screw at one end of the switch and the screw is usually green in color.

5) Now you can unscrew both black wires from the switch. The black wires are both called hot wires. There is a hot black wire feeding your switch and a hot black going out from your switch to your light. There should also be a couple of white wires that are attached together with a marrette (or wire nut) inside of the electrical box, you don’t have to do anything with these wires.

6) Take your new switch and attach the black wires to the two screws on the side of the switch and attach the ground to the green colored screw. Once that is done you can wrap the switch to cover any exposed wire and the screws if you want.

7) Take your switch and now push it into the electrical box lining up the holes on the two ends of the switch with the holes on the electrical box and insert and tighten the screws. Make sure the switch is level vertically to the eye.

8) Now that your switch is secured you can attach your cover or switch plate.

9) Go turn the power back on at the breaker box and then check your switch to make sure it is working properly.

Your switch should be functioning properly. That is very straight forward instructions on how to change a light switch. You just saved yourself a few dollars by changing your own light switch.