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How to replace a bad wall switch


Step 1. First shut off the power to the switch. Remove the decorative coverplate from the switch by unscrewing the two screws that hold the plate to the switch box. Set the screws and the plate aside. With the coverplate off, you will be able to see the switch and the electrical box it is attached to.

 

Step 2. Use a voltage sensor to m sure the circuit is dead. Hold the sensor’s probe within ˝” of the wires on either side of the switch. If the sensor beeps or lights up, then the switch is still live, and you’ll need to trip the correct breaker to disconnect power to the switch. If the sensor does not beep or light up, the circuit is dead and you’re safe to continue.

 

Step 3. Remove the switch from the box by unscrewing the two long screws that hold the switch to the box, one at the top, the other at the bottom. Once the screws are free, gently pull the switch away from the box.

 

Step 4. Inspect the screw connections. They should be tight and free of any scorch marks. If one of the connections is loose or scotched, the problem is probably a loose screw causing a short circuit. Reattach the wires, reassemble the switch and coverplate, and see if the switch works. If this isn’t the problem, continue to the next step.

 

 

 

 

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