How to Wire a Light Switch

In order to wire a light switch,you are going to need certain tools. To get started,you will need:

  • a Phillips screwdriver,
  • utility knife,
  • wire strippers and
  • needle nose pliers

Other materials you will need include:

  • a 15 amp light switch,
  • 14/2 electrical wire and
  • wire nuts.

First,you need to strip off the outside sheathing from the 14/2 electrical wire. Measure approximately 6 inches from the end of the wire and take the utility knife and score down the middle of the sheathing. Once this is cut,pull back the sheathing including the brown paper you may find around your ground wire. Cut off the excess sheathing with your utility knife.

You’ll find 3 wires. The black is your “load” wire. The white is your neutral return line. And of course the bare copper wire is your ground wire.

Do the same thing for your other wire

Now,strip the tips off of each wire. Since we are using 14/2 sized electrical wire,find #14 in your wire strippers and clamp down and pull the insulation off the tip of each wire. When stripping wires,plan to leave about ¾” exposed when you are done.

Next,you need to twist the 2 ground wires together along with a third ground wire,this is called pig tailing. Twist them together and then twist on a wire nut to the end. It’s now time to make the loops on the ends of your black wires. Using your needle nose pliers grip the ends of your black wires and turn them 180 degrees to create a nice neat loop. With your loops created,locate your light switch and bring one of the loops to a contact point. Hook it around a screw in a clockwise manner.

Once you are hooked in,grab your Phillips screwdriver and tighten it down. At this point you should make sure that your screw is extremely tight. Any loose connection can lead to an electrical fire. Connect your second black wire to the other contact point in a clockwise manner and tighten that screw down nice and snug. Double check to be sure you have tight connections when you are finished.

You have one last connection to make. Pick up your bare copper ground wire and use your needle nose pliers to make a loop at the end of the wire. Hook this loop around the green ground screw on the light switch in a clockwise manner. And,use your Phillips screw driver to tighten down on the loop. Remember,it is important to check and be sure you have a tight connection.

You should now have a completed light switch. If you need any help with electrical upgrades in your home,be sure to call on a licensed electricianlike hop over to hereto take care of it for you.

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