March 25, 2010

How to change a SWITCH yourself!

Today, my wonderful husband taught me how to change some old switches and outlets in our home. I don't know about you, but I LOVE to learn how to do these kind of things on my own! I documented my switch-changing skills, and am showing YOU how to do it YOURSELF. You can do it!!

**Here's what you'll need: a screwdriver (flat and phillips), needle nose pliers, electrical tape (maybe), a wire stripper (maybe), a new switch, and new wall plate.

Here's what my switch looked like before, and then the new one:


Unscrew the switch from the wall box:

Gently, pull the switch unit out from the wall:

Unscrew screws where the wires are attached:

Pull wires off of old switch: (Wow..mine were so old..covered in fabric insulation! Yikes) Use needle nose pliers to loosen easier:

I have old fabric casing, so if you do too, you must wrap each wire in electrical tape. If new wires were uncovered, then skip this step:

Attach wires to screws on side of new switch. The curve of the end of the wire should be placed on new screw, in the same direction that you will tighten the screw (clockwise). But, it doesn't matter which wire goes on which screw:

Tighten the screws down snug, but not too tight, which may damage the wires:

Try to keep wires in back of switch from touching as you tuck them inside the wall box:

Gently place switch back into wall box:

Screw top and bottom screws into wall box:

Recheck power by re-TURNING ON POWER to switch. Does it work? Then proceed... If not, a wire may have come detached..and recheck...

Screw on new switch wall plate:

Stand back & rejoice! You did it! Whew! Great job!!!

Now that you've done a switch, you are ready to change an outlet too! See how here!


  1. When we moved into this old house, we replaced almost every single outlet and light switch! What a difference it made and an easy do it yourself project! :)

  2. John knows how to do this, but now I do thanks to you. How thoughtful to add it to your blog... Love this blogging.... Cheryl