How to Replace a Kitchen Light Switch
How to Replace a Kitchen Light Switch: Installing a Single Light Switch and Making the Wiring Connections.
Install a Kitchen Light Switch
Electrical Question: I am trying to replace an old light switch with a new switch in the kitchen.
- I have a combination 15amp 120volt outlet.
- I need the outlet for my coffee maker and the switch is for the garbage disposal.
- In the same box there is also another light switch for an over the sink light.
- The switch worked before but I have no directions on how to wire this.
Can you help?
This electrical wiring question came from: Michelle, a Homeowner from St. Petersburg, Florida.
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Michelle.
How to Replace a Kitchen Light Switch
Application: Replacing a Kitchen Light Switch
Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate – Best performed by a Licensed Electrician.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools and a Voltage Tester.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience and ability to work with tools.
Precaution: Identify the light circuit, turn it OFF and Tag it with a Note before working with the light switch wiring.
Notice: Installing additional light circuit wiring should be done according to local and national electrical codes with a permit and be inspected.
Guide to Installing a Single Light Switch and Making the Wiring Connections
- Identify the Power Source for the Light Switch and Turn it Off
- Locate the circuit power source for the light switch at the electric panel, then turn the Circuit Breaker OFF or remove the Screw In Fuse.
- Note the Wiring Connections to the Light Switch
- Examine the wiring configuration and keep track of the wiring before you remove the existing light switch. Identify the existing wires with electrical tape, a permanent marker, or if you have a digital camera take a clear picture to use as a reference.
- The Replacement Light Switch
- Identify the Voltage, Amperage, and Type of light switch, such as is it a Single Pole Switch or a 3-Way light Switch. Take the light switch with you to the store to make sure you purchase the right switch.
- Connecting the Wires to the New Switch
- For best results remove the existing wires from the old light switch one wire at a time, and transfer the wire onto the new replacement switch into the same location or screw terminal. The goal is to wire up the new switch exactly the same as the original light switch and not loose track of the wiring configuration.
- Mounting the New Light Switch
- Install the new light switch with the orientation being correct, so that the switch toggle is UP for ON and DOWN for OFF.
If the electrical switch or junction box has an outlet or other devices in the same box, then be aware that the electrical power for these devices may be on a different circuit, so I is best to identify these circuits and turn them OFF as well.
More about Wiring a Light Switch
Wiring a Light Switch – Diagram 1
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Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.
The Safest Way to Test Electrical Devices and Identify Electric Wiring!The Non-Contact Electrical Tester
This is a testing tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and is the first test tool I grab to help identify electrical wiring. It is a Non-contact tester, [amazon.com], I use for the detection of Standard Voltage in Cables, Cords, Circuit Breakers, Lighting Fixtures, Switches, Outlets and Wires. Simply insert the end of the tester into an outlet, lamp socket, or hold the end of the tester against the wire you wish to test. Very handy and easy to use.
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