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How to replace a light switch

I'm going to throw out a little disclaimer here and tell you I AM NOT an electrician. Electricity isn't something to play around with so be safe and turn off the main power to your home if you decide to try this yourself.

If you are blessed with living in an older home, you might have some of these lurking around every corner.

Our house had some white, some ivory and some black light switches and plugs. I have been slowly replacing all of them to be a bright white. It wasn't a huge deal, just something that irritated me every now and then when I noticed them. I could have called an electrician and paid several hundred dollars to have them replaced, but I chose to get Electrician 101 from my mom (who also isn't an electrician, just super handy!). It was a really easy project to tackle myself and only required a screwdriver.

Again I am going to say turn off the main power to your home before starting. Some people who will remain nameless to protect the guilty, do this with the power on but my mom (oops!) tells me to do as I say not as I do, so I'm telling you to turn the power off.

To start, remove the 2 screws on the cover nad you should see this.

Remove the 2 screws holding the switch in and pull it out to give you some room to start working. Your power is off now, right?

Then you see this scary mess of wires and stuff. Remove the screws and the wire should come off and look like this.

Get your new purdy switch and make sure that it's pointed down in the off position.
Loosen the screws and wrap the wire back around and tighten the screws. When both screws are tightened, put the switch back in place and screw it back into the existing holes.

Then replace your switch plate cover and you're done!

No, wait, if your OCD like me, straighten your screws and THEN you are done! Turn the power back on and test it out.

Doesn't it look a ton better than that stick-out-like-a-sore-thumb switch?

Seriously, I'm scared to even post this because I'd hate for your home to burn down or you get electrocuted from my 3 minute tutorial. Be safe!

Lisa  – (October 23, 2010 at 10:30 PM)  

What a great tutorial. I'm too scared to try to play with electricity so I replaced all of the covers and screws to white and cheated and spray painted the switch.

Blogger  – (September 22, 2017 at 9:47 PM)  

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