What a Difference a Switch Makes

What a Difference a Switch Makes

Jason Loper
Jul 19, 2010

Sometimes it seems like the smallest details can have a huge impact. Take this light switch, for instance. After I painted my bathroom, the white light switch and switch plate seemed out of place. Not to mention, due to some sort of fading, one switch was a slightly different color than the other. Changing out the switches and switch plate was an easy task that completed the updated look of my bathroom.

First and foremost before you get started with any electrical project, be sure to turn off the power at the fuse box. Test the switch/outlet to make sure the power is off before you start touching your metal screwdriver to the switch/outlet.

Replacing light switches and electrical outlets in a newer home is merely a matter of repeating what has already been done. In my case, I wanted to replace two light switches and one CFI outlet plus the switch plates on both. After turning off the power, I removed the switch plate from the wall. Next, I unscrewed the screws that hold the switch in the wall box and pulled it out so I could see the wires. At this point I took note of how the switch was wired so that I could easily rewire the new switch the same way. And it's pretty easy actually - basically just two wires. I unwired the old switch and then wired the new one exactly as I had taken the old one out. Then I screwed the new switch into the wall box. I repeated this with the other switch and then the CFI outlet, then turned the power back on and tested the new switches and outlet before installing the new switch plates.

This was an easy ten minute project!

There are a few online tutorials that also walk you through the process. Of course this project may not be as easy in a home with older wiring. If in doubt, contact an electrician.

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