How to Replace a Broken Light Switch

Do you have a broken light switch at home? You don’t have to wait for an electrician to fix it. It’s actually quite easy to repair a broken light switch.

A lot of people are afraid of replacing a broken light switch due to a possible electric shock but when precautions are being taken, it’s quite easy.

What You’ll Need

Most of the time, these will be the things that you’ll need:

  • Flathead or Phillips screwdriver (check your switch)
  • Voltage tester
  • Replacement light switch

Determine the replacement light switch you need so you can purchase the right one. Here’s a handy picture guide from ForRent.com:

  • Four-way
  • Three-way
  • Double pole
  • Single pole

Photo credit: ForRent.com

How to Repair a Broken Light Switch

Step 1. Cut off the power source to the switch before making any repairs. You can turn off the circuit breaker for the lights in that section or choose to turn off the main breaker just to be sure.

Step 2. Depending on the type of light switch you have, you might need a flathead or Phillips screwdriver to remove the switch plate from the wall.

Step 3. Use the voltage tester to double-check and make sure that there’s no current in that switch.

Step 4. Unscrew the switch from its place in the junction box.

Photo credit: ForRent.com

Step 5. Disconnect the wires by unscrewing the screws at the side of the switch.

Step 6. Remember which wire goes to which terminal. If you’re not sure that you’ll remember, get a masking tape to put a label on before removing the whole thing.

Step 7. Get the replacement switch and place it in position in the same way as the broken one. Match up the wires and screw them in place.

Step 8. Push the switch into the junction box and screw it securely.

Step 9. Put the switch plate back in place. Again, screw it tightly and securely.

Step 10. Turn on the circuit breaker and check if the new light switch works.

Here’s a handy video you can use as a guide:

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