01-31-2012 12:06 AM
I have the face plate and the new switch and I do know that you are to turn off the circuit breaker when you are starting this home project, but when I see the wires... I get scared... :-/ So what do I do next after I turn of breaker and take off old faceplate?
01-31-2012 07:15 AM
There are projects that all of us DIYers do easily and then there are those that "scare" us.
Even though this is a relatively basic repair, because you are "scared", I am going to recommend that you take the opportunity to have someone else show you how the repair is done the first time.
If a friend or neighbor has done this before ask them. Or ask your local Electrical Associate to demonstrate replacing an outlet.
Either should also help you check the replacement outlet to ensure that it matches the circuit breaker to which it is routed.
After you learn these few simple steps, you'll have confidence the next time you need to replace an outlet.
Most DIYers learn by doing ... and most had someone show them how the first time!
I am a Home Depot Paint Associate, trained and authorized to help people on the Internet.
01-31-2012 12:18 PM - edited 01-31-2012 12:25 PM
Hello GregO. Welcome to the community.
It’s OK to have a healthy respect for open electrical power. Just take some basic safety precautions. You have already started by turning off the power. Use a tester to make sure the power is off before you start to handle wires. Let me give you some guidance from a Home Depot Project Guide which addresses exactly what you want to do:
• Stay safe by wearing rubber-soled shoes and using tools with rubber handles.
• Identify the circuit breaker or fuse connected to the switch. If your home uses fuses, be sure to remove the fuse from the fuse box.
• Always turn off power to a circuit before working on it and place a note on the electrical panel to warn others not to turn it on.
• Take a picture of the wiring on the current switch before disconnecting the wires in case you need to refer to it later.
Remember where I recommended you take a picture of the wiring so it can be put back the same way? Well, now is where this will come in handy. In the example above the house wiring uses cable to run from one box to the next. Because of this you see a white wire being used on a switch. This would not be done if your home has conduit running from box to box. The electrician running conduit would have a choice of wire color and you will see either 2 black wires or 1 black and either a red or blue. Don't be confused by this, just take that picture and hook up the same 2 wires that came off the brass terminals on to the new switch. No camera? Then just tag the wires with tape.
The only other terminal on a single pole switch is a green screw. If you see either a bare or green wire in the switch box, connect it to this green screw. No other color wire is allowed to go here, only green or bare.
As electrical projects go, this is a fairly simple one. You do need some basic tools to accomplish this though.
Let me give you a list:
Phillips head screwdriver, Slotted screwdriver, Wire stripper, Long nose pliers, Voltage tester, Electrical tape.
Homedepot.com has 4 Project Guides on replacing different types of switches. They are listed below:
I hope this helps, Newf.
I'm a Home Depot Store Associate, trained and authorized to help people on the Internet.