Do-It-Yourself: Replacing a Double Light Switch

A double light switch is used to provide two separate sources of Little Rock electricity from one area. One switch often controls an overhead lighting or fan. Its wiring is similar to that of a single light switch with some fundamental differences. Here’s how you can replace a double light switch.

Shut Off the Power

The first step is to shut off the power. Working with electricity can be dangerous, and if you’re not careful, you can get seriously hurt. Even an experienced Little Rock electrician working on a junction box will take the precaution of shutting of electrical power first. Look for your home’s main junction box, and search for the panel of the area you are working in. Switch off the power.

Identify the Wires

Next, you remove the screws of the double light switch using a screwdriver. Before you begin working, use the circuit tester to ensure the current is turned off. Afterwards, identify the wires. There are hot wires, a grounding wire, and neutral wires. Usually, the hot wire appears red but it sometimes can be black. A green, yellow, or bare wire is the grounding wire, while the white wire is neutral. A double light switch features multiple white wires and one black or red wire. The white wires are connected to the switches, so that when you switch it on, it will deliver the current through the lines and turn on the light. Place a piece of electrical tape around the hot wire for later identification.

Connecting the Switch

Some double light switch setups lack a grounding wire. If you encounter such a case, cut off a piece of wire and strip off the insulation. Tie an end of the wire to the box. The other end should be tied to the green screw found on the double light switch. Cut and trip every wire from the wall box and loosen the double light switch screws. Cut and strip the wires connected to the double light switch plate and mimic the old wire connections. Tighten the screws, replace the plate, and switch the power back on.

Although being able to replace a double light switch is a handy ability, it is best to hire a professional electrician in Little Rock to take care of electrical matters for absolute safety.