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Replace a Light Switch with a Programmable Switch

Emily in Texas asks: We are trying to replace our front porch light switch with a Honeywell programmable wall switch, model RPLS540A. We have a ground wire attached to the current light switch with a screw.


Programmable Light Switch
Electrical Question: Replacing a light switch with a programmable switch, how is the ground wires connected?

We are trying to replace our front porch light switch with a Honeywell programmable wall switch, model RPLS540A. We have a ground wire attached to the current light switch with a screw. The new switch has a ground wire coming from it that the instructions say to attach to the box (but the box isn’t metal). So we don’t know what to do with the 2 ground wires.

This electrical wiring question came from Emily, a Homeowner in Austin, Texas.

Emily, Thank You for Visiting Ask-the-Electrician!

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Emily.

How to Wire a Programmable Light Switch

Application: Wiring a Programmable Light Switch.
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced – Best performed by a Licensed Electrical Contractor, or Certified Electrician.
Electrical Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools, Voltage Tester, and appropriate Safety Gear.
Estimated Time: Depends on the personal level experience, ability to work with tools, install electrical circuit wiring, and the available access to the project area.
Electrical Safety: Identify the electrical power source to the Switch, turn it OFF and Tag with a Note before working with the electrical wiring.
Electrical Wiring Parts and Materials: Electrical parts and materials for the Switch should be approved for the specific project and compliant with local and national electrical codes.
Electrical Codes and Inspections: Installing or changing home electrical wiring should be done according to local and national electrical codes as adopted in Austin , Texas. A permit and inspections may also be required.

Ground Wires for a Programmable Light Switch

This electrical wiring project is about wiring a Programmable Switch for the Front Porch Light of a New Home.

Wiring the Programmable Switch
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» You Can Avoid Costly Mistakes! «

Here's How to Do It:
Wire It Right with the help of my Illustrated Wiring Book

Great for any Home Wiring Project.


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Complete Guide to Home Electrical Wiring

Perfect for Homeowners, Students,
Handyman, Handywomen, and Electricians
Includes:
Wiring GFCI Outlets
Wiring Home Electric Circuits
120 Volt and 240 Volt Outlet Circuits
Wiring Light Switches
Wiring 3-Wire and 4-Wire Electric Range
Wiring 3-Wire and 4-Wire Dryer Cord and Dryer Outlet
How to Troubleshoot and Repair Electrical Wiring
Wiring Methods for Upgrading Electrical Wiring
NEC Codes for Home Electrical Wiring
....and much more.





Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.

Electrical Tips to Help You Wire it Right

The Safest Way to Test Electrical Devices and Identify Electric Wires!

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 that I use to easily Detect 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.

The Quickest Way to Check for Faulty Electrical Wiring!

The Plug-In Outlet Tester
This is the first tool I grab to troubleshoot a problem with outlet circuit wiring. This popular tester is also used by most inspectors to test for power and check the polarity of circuit wiring.
It detects probable improper wiring conditions in standard 110-125 VAC outlets Provides 6 probable wiring conditions that are quick and easy to read for ultimate efficiency Lights indicate if wiring is correct and indicator light chart is included Tests standard 3-wire outlets UL Listed Light indicates if wiring is incorrect Very handy and easy to use.

Strip Off Wire Insulation without Nicking and Damaging the Electric Wire!

The Wire Stripper and Wire Cutter
My absolute favorite wire stripping tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and this is the tool I use to safely strip electrical wires.
This handy tool has multiple uses:
The wire gauges are shown on the side of the tool so you know which slot to use for stripping insulation.
The end of the tool can be used to grip and bend wire which is handy for attaching wire onto the screw terminals of switches and outlets..

The wire stripper will work on both solid and stranded wire. This tool is Very Handy and Easy to Use.



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