Sign In to join the community | Help
Install & Replace

Replacing light switch

Okay I am trying to replace and old light switch - first off the power to the switch is off  and the old light switch is undone so that I can try and get the wiring away from the old switch . That is my problem I can't the wiring away for the old terminals . I have tried loosing the screws and nothing happens. The wiring looks like it goes into or is apart of the box but no matter what it  doesn't move . Can Anyone help. Jan

Not what you were looking for ? Try posting a question
Posted 2010-12-15T05:40:38+0000  by jan jan

Good morning, Jan, Ray the Hammer ,ready to help you out of your predicament. Some switches come with the wires permanently attached so they need to be spliced together to the wires from the wall. This is done with a wire nut. Other switches need to have the wires attached to the box with screws. It sounds like you have a different situation here or an odd combination of both. Could you post a picture? If you can, I'll walk you through it. You've done all the proper steps to get started, so try to shoot me a picture, and we'll get you across the finish line.


Welcome to our community, Jan, I'll be here to help you out when you need me

The Hammer

Posted 2010-12-15T13:24:16+0000  by TheHammer

Hey jan,


TheHammer's answer should take care of the issue if your wires are going to the traditional connections and being help down with the screws. If it looks like the wires are just going into the back of the switch and the screws aren't being used you are probably dealing with a quick connect fitting. The wires can just be inserted into the back of the switch and the screws aren't being used. 


This is a great system for electricians because it saves time, but it can be a real puzzle for folks who aren't used to these type of connections. The trick is to find the small slot that's next to each hole where the wires plug in. You'll have to insert a small screwdriver into the slot and the wire will be released. The mechanism inside of the switch basically pinches the wire, so by using the screwdriver we're releasing the tension on the wire. 


The picture below is a wall outlet, but it's probably the same set up as your switch. You can see the little slots that allow you to release the wire next to each wire. The screws aren't being used at this point, so you have no reason to really do anything with them.


Good luck and I hope we helped.



Posted 2010-12-15T15:44:01+0000  by HomeDepotRyan

Thanks you so much your advice really helped. Everyone that I had read kept saying how easy it was but no one said how you got the wiring out of the old switch .  Thanks a lot .

Posted 2010-12-16T07:52:18+0000  by jan
Not what you were looking for ? Try posting a question