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Thread: Have you ever replaced a light switch?

  1. #1
    Super Member Butterfli19's Avatar
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    Have you ever replaced a light switch?

    My switch just popped out and Lowes says I have to replace the entire switch and buy a voltage regulator to be sure the power is off.

    Other than that, any helpful hints? I would hate to get zapped today.
    Nancy

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  2. #2
    Power Poster
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    Check You Tube. Call an electrician.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Pudge's Avatar
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    Call an electrician. Seriously.

  4. #4
    Super Member Chasing Hawk's Avatar
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    Make sure the breaker is off in the room you are replacing the switch in. It's easy to replace I have done it several times.
    Or round up a handyman relative or friend to do it.
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  5. #5
    Super Member Butterfli19's Avatar
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    No one is available today and they say the main thing is to be sure the power is off and the rest is mechanical. I've watched before but this will be my first time trying.
    Nancy

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  6. #6
    Power Poster Onebyone's Avatar
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    Do you mean the toggle switch? Turn off the breaker in the breaker box that supplies the power to that switch. Change it out, usually three wires that have wire clasps attached with screws. A youtube video will guide you through. Should take you about 10 min. Replacing a switch or plug doesn't require a license but wiring it does.
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  7. #7
    Super Member Butterfli19's Avatar
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    Yes, the toggle switch. I went to turn off the light and it came right off, never knew that could even happen. I wouldn't attempt to wire anything.
    Nancy

    Just keep going!

  8. #8
    Power Poster ManiacQuilter2's Avatar
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    I have one of those devices that test for electricity is still on. Very handy to have in your tool box.
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  9. #9
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    I think you mean a voltage meter rather than a voltage regulator. They are useful things to have around. If you turn off all your power and see that the electrical meter is not running, you won't need to test voltage to the switch. Otherwise you need to be really sure that you turn off the right breaker. The labels on the breakers in the electrical panel may not be complete or correct, so don't rely on them to tell you which breaker serves the faulty light switch.

  10. #10
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    I just did a whole house of plugs and switches. I use rubber handled screw driver and pliers to prevent my getting shocked. As you take one wire off the old switch attach it on the new switch in the same place on the new one -do each wire the same way. This will assure you they are in the right place then put it back in to the wall/box-attach the face plate. easy peezy

  11. #11
    Super Member AZ Jane's Avatar
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    Do it the easy way. Go to the box and turn off the power to the whole house, no chances of an accident. After that, electric repairs are fairly simple and straight forward. It is "usually" white to white, black to black, green to green, red to red, blue to blue, etc. You will probably have a copper colored wire that does not have a mate to match up to, but there should be a little black or copper screw to attach it to. There should be picture instructions on the box. Shove everything (don't crimp the wires but they can be bent) back into the whole, screw on the cover plate. TA-DA done! Don't forget to go back out and turn the power back on at the box. While you are thinking about electricity, if you have another person to help. Mark inside the box, which breaker goes to which room in the house and/or major appliance if that has not been done.
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  12. #12
    Super Member BettyGee's Avatar
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    Turn off the main supply and you can do it in a short time. A voltage meter is a great tool to have in your house. With the main shut off you should have no worries and changing out the switch is easy peasy.
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  13. #13
    Super Member citruscountyquilter's Avatar
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    Easy to do. Throw the breaker to that circuit. Check with circuit tester to make sure it is off. Circuit testers are inexpensive little thing with wires and a little light. Take the old switch out. Match white wire to white wire; black to black, ground to ground. Screw new switch in and replace cover plate. Turn breaker back on. Flip switch. Light on.

  14. #14
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    Mom was a farm wife her whole life, not an electrician, and I remember watching her replace light switches. DH does this too. Just sayin'

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stitchit123 View Post
    I just did a whole house of plugs and switches. I use rubber handled screw driver and pliers to prevent my getting shocked. As you take one wire off the old switch attach it on the new switch in the same place on the new one -do each wire the same way. This will assure you they are in the right place then put it back in to the wall/box-attach the face plate. easy peezy
    Yes just make sure breaker is off first..

  16. #16
    Super Member coopah's Avatar
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    Call a licensed electrician. Seriously. If done incorrectly, you could have a fire.
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  17. #17
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    I replaced old grungy brown switches and outlets about twenty years ago using a hairdryer and running up and down stairs to make sure that lights were off. It was very easy, but time consuming.

  18. #18
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    Very easy to do, turn off main breaker, take old one out and as you take wire off old one, put it on new one and when all wires, should be 3, a pos, neg and ground. screw switch back in and put face plate back on and your done. I rewired Helen, my grandmothers 201-3 when cord was shot. Like many other things, put the new on the same way you took it off.

  19. #19
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    I would Never call an electrician for this simple repair. It's not Rocket science. YouTube is your friend, just watch more than one video. When a couple videos say to do it the same way you're good to go.

    Like CitrusCountyQuilter said, the is no need for an expensive Multi-meter or a cheep one, a simple $4 circuit tester will give you the information that you need. This is less than a $10 repair. If you can put air in a tire, you can replace a switch. It's more about having the confidence and willingness to try something out of your comfort zone. Good luck and go for it, you can do it and save money.

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