You Can Replace a Broken Light Switch on Your Own

4 May 2015
 Categories: , Blog

A broken light switch is a massive inconvenience. It could also pose a possible danger, depending on why the light switch isn't working. For example, if the light isn't working because there are stripped or broken wires, that could cause shorts in the wire and could either shock you when you use the switch and could even cause an electrical fire. If the problem is just a minor issue, it's a simple fix that you could do yourself. 

How to Change a Broken Light Switch

1. Turn off the power: The first step is the most important step. You need to make sure the power is off any time you are working with light switches. That's because electricity can bite you. An electrical shock can send you to the hospital. The easiest way to be safe is to turn the power off. You can do that by finding the fuse or breaker for that room. If you have a circuit breaker, flip the right switch to the off position. If you have a fuse box, take the fuse completely out. If you are concerned about it, you can turn off the master switch and turn the power off to the entire house. 

2. Take the switch plate off: The switch plate is the front part that covers the switch and the hole of the wall. The only thing you need to take it off is a screwdriver. 

3. Look at the switch: At this point, you should be able to see the switch assembly itself. This is when you should get a good idea of what is wrong with the switch. If the toggle to the switch is loose or doesn't appear to connect to the switch assembly, that's something that you can fix. If the wires appear frayed, you need to immediately call an electrician so that they can repair it for you. Leave the power off to that room. 

4. Take the wires off the old switch: This is easy for you to do. The wires are either pushed into the switch or they are attached with a screw. Detach the wires from the switch one at a time. Make sure you pay attention to which wire is connected to which terminal. That's how they will need to go on to the new switch. 

5. Reconnect the wires: All you need to do is to put the wires back on the switch in the order you took them off. 

6: Reverse your steps: Put the switch plate back on, and turn your power back on. If you did everything correctly, then your switch should start turning your light again. If it doesn't, then you probably need some professional help to figure out the problem. 

If you don't think that you can handle this, or you would rather not, a commercial electrician can come in and do the repair for you quickly and easily.