installing the new light switch

(I am not a professional! do any of this at your own risk)

Switches and outlets have holes in the back to feed wires into. It makes it faster, less likely the wires will fall off when you try to shove the switch back in the box. If you use these holes, remember to tightened the empty screws anyway. Unfortunately, my old house has thicker gauge wire, so the holes are too small for me. So I must use the hook and catch method. Using this method is annoying. Pay attention to the direction of your wire if you bend the hook clockwise, when you tighten the screw you will be tightening with the wire and it will hold still. If your wire goes the other way, it still might work, but the chances of the wire slipping off while you tighten is higher. Both of mine are the wrong way, because the wire is old and that was the way it wanted to curve and I wasn’t willing to fight it.

Once you are connected, you should put the switch in the off position and go turn on your power. Careful not to touch anything but the plastic, turn your switch on and see that it works. I’m sure this is very wrong and professionals cringe, but I find it very annoying to shove the thing back in the box and find it doesn’t work. Once you know it’s working, turn the power back off and wrap the outlet in electrical tape. This insulates the exposed metal, and gives everything an extra layer of staying power.

switch5

Switches and outlets have holes I the back to feed wires into. It makes it faster, less likely the wires will fall off when you try to shove the switch back in the box. If you use these holes, remember to tightened the empty screws anyway. Unfortunately, my old house has thicker gauge wire, so the holes are too small for me. So I must use the hook and catch method. Using this method is annoying. Pay attention to the direction of your wire if you bend the hook clockwise, when you tighten the screw you will be tightening with the wire and it will hold still. If your wire goes the other way, it still might work, but the chances of the wire slipping off while you tighten is higher. Both of mine are the wrong way, because the wire is old and that was the way it wanted to curve and I wasn’t willing to fight it.

Once you are connected, you should put the switch in the off position and go turn on your power. Careful not to touch anything but the plastic, turn your switch on and see that it works. I’m sure this is very wrong and professionals cringe, but I find it very annoying to shove the thing back in the box and find it doesn’t work. Once you know it’s working, turn the power back off and wrap the outlet in electrical tape. This insulates the exposed metal, and gives everything an extra layer of staying power.

Push your switch back in the box. This sucks, especially with my old high gauge wire. It doesn’t like to move or bend. Try to make the switch straight. Keep in mind that the box may not be straight, and to create the illusion of straight you will purposely make the switch crooked in the box.

switch6

Add your plate cover! Before and after

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