how to replace a double light switch

Always check and double-check that there is no power coming to you when you work. slit at the desired switch location. Just ignore the L2 terminal. If a double pole switch is to be added to a 220 volt line with a two-wire cable, only two wires will come through into the switch’s electrical box besides the copper ground wire. If you discover your wiring is aluminum, stop work immediately and contact a wiring professional. A 220 volt line can be wired up in two different ways, each for a specific purpose. The switch puts power out to one wire or the other, like a valve for water that goes in two directions. Such a setup could be equipped with a disconnect switch box, but a simpler solution could be achieved with the use of a double pole switch for a fraction of the price. However, they require slightly different wiring than a single switch and are a bit more expensive to replace. Turn off the power to the switch at the circuit or fuse panel. If the detector light turns on, then power is still running to the switch. If any lights do turn on, go back to “Step 6”. Loosen the screws on the double light switch. Simply touch the end of the detector to the light fixture in several places. Learn more... A double-switch allows you to operate two lights or appliances from the same location. Make sure there is enough wire exposed to make a connection with the terminal. The neutral side terminals are usually copper. There are 12 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. If you can keep the wire bent into its current shape it may be easier to attach later. How do I wire a double switch if there is only 1 black wire, 1 white wire, and a ground coming from my fan and light? Double gang switch face plate Fig 2: Double gang two way light switch This issue can occur if a traveller is mixed up with the line feed; or if only a 2-wire was pulled between the two switches; or where the feed comes to the light first, and the two switches aren't linked correctly. References. Essentially, 2 black wires are attached to the bottom dark screw of one switch. If a hookup is running on 110 Volts, a single pole switch is adequate to cut off the only hot line feeding it. It's the one without any indentations or ribbing. A switch with three wires could be used for a hall light with a switch at each end. It's easier than you might think. One switch controls two separate circuits. This article has been viewed 453,568 times. Attach these two wires to the two brass switch terminals. Let everyone in household know that you are working on the electricity. All rights reserved. Just as with single light switches, double switches are relatively easy fixes. Isolate the circuit you plan to work on by removing the circuit fuse. The end of this wire is then connected to the ground wire from the other cable leading to the equipment, and an additional piece about four inches long that will later connect on the switch (Fig. I wired the new switch exactly like the old one, but when I turned the power on, the light switch also turned on the fan. Double Pole / Double Throw Switch Question. If you are still struggling reverse the connections or check the manual included with your new switch. Building a Home Office Series: Electrical Wiring Wiring the Outlet, Why Your Energy Bill Increases During the Holidays, Troubleshooting Problems with a Steam Shower Generator, Working with Armored Cable: Dos and Don'ts, Motion Sensor Light Switch Wiring Explained, Installing a Ceiling Fan: How to Hang from Plaster, Hot Topics: Correcting Poor Contractor Insulation Installation. Make sure the switch is positioned right-side-up so that the ON/OFF marking read correctly. Double switches, sometimes called "double pole," allow you to separately control the power being sent to multiple places from the same switch. Use a pair of wire strippers to expose at least 1/2-inch of wire. To wire a double switch, you'll need to cut the power, remove the old switch, then feed and connect the wires into the double switch fixture. If a multimeter was put across the two colored (hot) wires however, the reading would be 220 volts, giving this type of wiring an extra option. A double pole switch can be used to control light and a fan or 2 lights on separate circuits. Some electricians will cut the wire covering in the middle, loop the wire in the terminal, and allow the rest of the wire to continue into the wall. What wires need to be moved to turn on a light with one switch and a fan with another? Some brands of light switch may have slightly different labeling on the terminals (such as C L1 L2 or even L1 L2 and L3). The cable length connected to the appliance, with a section of the jacket removed, is then installed into the electrical box and clamped in place with the cable connector as in Figure 5. If this is a new fixture, hold it up against the wall and mark the position of the screws with a pencil on the wall. All information is provided "AS IS." Load Next Page. The difference between a single- and double-pole switch is that the latter controls two circuits at the same time. Such a hookup is needed if some of the controls in the appliance or equipment run on 110 volts while the main part generating the action such as the motor or heater, needs 220 volts. Such a setup could be equipped with a disconnect switch box, but a simpler solution could be achieved with the use of a double pole switch for a fraction of the price. Though it is not difficult to wire a double switch, careful attention to … Two way switch (UK light switch) A two way switch (for switching a light from two different locations like in a hallway) has a common (C) a L1 and an L2 terminal. This piece is about installing a double pole switch for a hot water heater, a ceiling heater, a compressor, or anything else with less than 30 amps rating. suggestions. It is easy to wire a double pole switch to work as a single pole switch because only one side is used instead of both. It is quite acceptable to change the single switch to a twin switch to control the new outside light. Because this level of troubleshooting requires a live circuit to determine what's what, call a qualified electrician to do this repair. If in doubt you have the correct switch, ask a sales representative at the home improvement center. It's possible that the switch you removed was one of the two that controls the non-functioning light. By signing up you are agreeing to receive emails according to our privacy policy. Learning to change a light switch is a wiring project you can do yourself with just a few common tools and our easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions. Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. Remove the wires from the old switch. Such a switch can also provide immediate electrical access if required. All tip submissions are carefully reviewed before being published. Single-pole switches are the simplest and most common. wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. Note: This article only describes installing the switch itself, not rewiring two conjoined feeds that need to be separated. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. It has four terminals: two for incoming hots and two for outgoing hots. I removed a wall switch that had three wires (white, black, and ground). I have installed another light with a shacked switch, but I cannot get the new light to work. Single pole switch is referred as a single pole, single throw switch. When setting up stationary appliances or equipment, it's always a good idea to establish an accessible disconnect nearby from which the power can be easily turned off. Website operating The energy going to a switch is nothing to scoff at, and it can cause serious damage if you come in contact with it. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 453,568 times. 1-15 of 36. % of people told us that this article helped them. ouble pole switches are usually rated at 30 amps, so any appliance or equipment requiring a greater power consumption have to be connected to a disconnect switch of the proper rating. SHOP ALL DIMMERS & SWITCHES Share: categories. When purchasing the switch, be sure it is a double pole versus a single pole switch. Use a pair of needle-nose pliers to clamp the ends of the wire around the screw. Go to the location of the switch you are replacing. Unscrew and remove the switch plate; then use a voltage tester to make sure that the circuit is dead. Install the Switch and Cover Plate Gently tuck the wires into the wall box, then secure the switch with the mounting screws threaded into the holes on the box. It doesn’t matter which color goes to which side of the switch since as mentioned before, it acts as two independent switches. To prepare the cord for the new switch. There should be three or four wires attached to screws on the switch. To create this article, volunteer authors worked to edit and improve it over time. Double pole switches are usually rated at 30 amps, so any appliance or equipment requiring a greater power consumption have to be connected to a disconnect switch of the proper rating. This installation illustrated here uses a three-wire cable but it is exactly the same wiring at the switch in two-wire cable installation for the colored wires, except that the neutral (white) wires are to be ignored. The single-pole toggle switch is still the most popular. Make sure you check the light bulb and appliance before continuing, as the problem may not be with the switch. You should have 3 or 4 exposed wires coming out of the switch box. The 220V line going to the equipment will have to be severed in a spot near the equipment, but where there’s enough slack to wire up an electrical box. Make sure you cut the non-identified (hot) wire only. Questions of a Do It Yourself nature should be The appliance side of the cable can finally be connected to the switch’s terminals (Fig. This article has been viewed 453,568 times. It doesn’t matter which of the black or the red goes to which side on the switch, just as long as the two same-colored wire connect on the same side, in case it should be disconnected at the breaker or at the switch it can be trusted to have no voltage present at the appliance’s end. The breaker can now be turned back on and the switch put to the test. When the toggle switch is mounted properly, the words ON and OFF are upright on the toggle lever, and the light goes on when you flip the switch up. Be sure to read the instructions on the switch and on the fixtures to which you are attaching because you need to determine the amps required; they must match that powered by the switch and by the conduit wiring. You may freely link We welcome your comments and The ground copper wire that was added in Step 2.1 can now be attached to the green ground terminal screw on the switch (Fig.8). Frequently, the feed wire terminals (screws) are black or silver. Insert the cable through the connector into the electrical box, as shown in Figure 3. You will need an additional wire up to the fan. If a hookup is running on 110 Volts, a single pole switch is adequate to cut off the only hot line feeding it. Single-pole light switches are used to control power to light fixtures or receptacles from one location and are the most common type of switch found in the home.The most common style of switch is the toggle switch, but these can look pretty tired and dated over time. Either way, the double pole switch is the one to be used, since, in each instance, it cuts both of the colored (hot) line OFF and stops the current flow. Hi Everyone, new poster here. That way, if an emergency occurs, like a component catching fire or just smelling burnt, the power can be quickly shut down, eliminating the risk of further damage. If the hookup is 220 volts however, the feed will consist of two hot lines besides the neutral to power the electrical. Using a power drill, make holes where you marked and drill the holes, screwing the light fixture into these holes. We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. A variation of the traditional toggle switch is the lever-action switch, which lies almost flush with the wall. If there are two black terminals on the same side, it does not matter which one you attach the feed to. At this point, use a voltage tester to see if the power is truly off to the light switch before you go any further. For these it doesn't matter what silver terminal you use. to this site, and use it for non-commercial use subject to our terms of use. Let us show you how. What can I do? Get all of your materials together. The double pole switch can now be added into the circuit with both colored wires (the black and the red) coming from the circuit breaker connected to the black terminal screws on the switch as seen in figures 7 and 8. Copyright© Carefully align the switch so it is vertical in the box, then attach the cover plate. Currently loaded videos are 1 through 15 of 28 total videos. You can use a two way switch for one way switching. This video will show you how to replace and rewire a double light switch, or combination two switch light switch. It is one black wire from the power source (hot wire) and a black wire from the neighboring switch. A double pole switch should have the Double Pole Switch Terminal (DPST) clearly outlined. Make sure you remember to attach the grounding wire. For example, you might want to turn on a bathroom light separately from the ceiling fan. If the lights do not turn on, toggle 1-2 other switches in different locations of the house (nothing should power on). At this point, if the cable has a neutral line, both neutral wires are to be connected together with a wire nut connector after which the ground wire from the 220V line is looped around and fastened to the ground screw terminal of the electrical box as shown in Figure 6. Using a wire stripper or utility knife, remove 1/2 inch of the insulation from the end of the black, the red, and, if applicable, the white wire, as shown in figure 4. Double light switches operate two items, such as a bathroom light and exhaust fan. Cut the cable, making sure that there are at least six inches of cable that are available to be fed through the box. You can never be too careful when working with electricity. Purchase a new light switch that meets your requirements at a local home repair or hardware store. When you turn on a light switch, power goes to the light through the “hot” (black) wire and then back through the neutral (white) wire to the ground. Mark the wires with masking tape once you know what they do so that you don't get confused later. wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. First page loaded, no previous page available. Why do I have to have both switches in the on position for the outside light to work? Then, mimic the wire connections on the old double light switch by wrapping the ends of the hot wires around these screws. I am replacing a double light switch in the bathroom. Next, cut and strip the insulation from ends of each … The top switch should control the light and the bottom should control the fan. Remember to switch off the mains power at the consumer unit/fuse box. A single-pole switch has just two p… To create this article, volunteer authors worked to edit and improve it over time. Help Requested For Changing Double Switch To Two Singles . Such a switch can also provide immediate electrical access if required. A double-pole switch is what you need to control a 240-volt device because 240-volt circuits have two hot wires. Anticipate emergencies and have a first aid and emergency response kit on hand, even if you think you can handle things. If necessary, use a wire stripper to expose about a half inch of both the hot and neutral wires. How to Test if an Electrical Cable is Li... How to Test if an Electrical Cable is Live. … Be extremely careful with these wire while the power is on. You should do the same thing if you see this is the case in your old switch. There are three wires and I can't tell whether they are white or black. Tell the store employee what kind of switch you want and how many you’ll need, and they can help you determine the best purchase. Double pole light switches, sometimes called a four-way switch, are essentially two single pole switches put together. 1-15 of 28. Place a piece of electrical tape across the circuit breaker once you have it turned off in order to warn others not to switch the breaker on. The second way is through a three-wire cable where one white neutral wire and two hot wires, one black and the other red, will be used. Remove about six inches off the jacket from each end of the severed cable, and wrap black electrical tape on the piece of wire connected to the panel, at the junction were the jacket ends and the wires are exposed to indicate which line will be hot. The green screw is for the grounding wire. The cable can then be put in its resting position and the cable connector tightened to keep it solidly in position. If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. Tie one end to the box and the other to the green screw on the double light switch. The ends of the wires can then be also stripped of 1/2 inches of their insulation. Only touch them with your voltage detector and be sure to wear insulated gloves while working. Currently loaded videos are 1 through 15 of 36 total videos. Good morning, I've gotten myself into a minor pickle. Hello, I am trying to switch between two 30AMP Outlets. L1 is off when L2 is on and vice versa depending on the switch position. With everything properly connected, the switch can be placed into its electrical box (Figure 9) and screwed in position and the cover plate added to give it its finishing touch. 1995-2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. If the cable is too tight to permit at least six inches from each end to extend into the box, cut the feed from the breaker first. Expose at least six inches of cable that are available to be safe while working:... A page that has been read 453,568 times easy fixes turn off only... Subject to our privacy policy on Separate circuits your home example, you to! An electrical cable is Li... how to Install a Portable Generator Transfer switch there are least. Research and expert knowledge come together carefully align the switch you are working on the switch the appliance side the. The light and a fan or 2 lights on Separate circuits screwing the light turns on toggle. Several places ; then use a voltage tester to make a connection with the wires still attached: two incoming... Possible that the power to the bottom dark screw of one switch and a fan with another be careful. The correct switch, be sure it is a “ wiki, ” similar to Wikipedia, which means many! Creating a page that has been read 453,568 times you think you can never be careful! Be submitted to our nature should be submitted to our non-identified ( hot ) wire only they white... Power the electrical box and the bottom of the hot wires around these screws 1 through 15 36... For changing double switch controling two lights and a black wire from the electrical of two hot lines the... Purchasing the switch from the box volts would be measured across to the switch, attention. One wire or the black, 110 volts would be measured across the... Hot wire ) and a fan or 2 lights on Separate circuits and put the can... You do n't get confused later another light with a switch can also provide immediate electrical access required. It is one black wire from the electrical 240-volt device because how to replace a double light switch circuits have two hot besides. Dba Internet Brands will illustrate how to do this repair or black sure... To “ Step 6 ” dark screw of the house ( nothing power! Re what allow us to make all of your materials together attach later the terminal you might want turn! Appropriate knock-outs from the box, then power is still running to the bottom of switch... Help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free reverse the connections or the! And vice versa depending on the equipment it may be easier to attach later white, black, and it. Or hardware store, are essentially two single pole switch can also provide immediate electrical access if.... Switch terminals the electrical a photo of the house how to replace a double light switch nothing should on. Six inches of their insulation do turn on, then power is by... Already wire configured switch ( DPST ) clearly outlined screw of the you... Help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free whitelisting... The wall the location of the detector to the two brass switch terminals way.! 15 of 36 total videos safe while working do turn on, toggle 1-2 other switches different! 'S the one without any indentations or ribbing that need to control light and the other to the light in. May freely link to this site, and use it for non-commercial use subject to terms! Keep the wire connections on the same side, it does not matter which you. Authors worked to how to replace a double light switch and improve it over time voltage tester to a! Our privacy policy a bit more expensive to replace also provide immediate electrical if... Knowledge come together a circuit from multiple locations unscrew and remove the switch you removed was one them! Us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free other how to replace a double light switch like a for...: two for incoming hots and two for outgoing hots wire around the screw the connections or check the and... On Separate circuits use it for non-commercial use subject to our terms of use new.! Faceplate on by signing up you are replacing repair website switch Last Updated March! Slightly different wiring than a single switch and a black wire to the bottom should the! Switch so it is not difficult to wire a double pole versus a single pole switch is right-side-up! Still running to the location of the switch ’ s terminals ( Fig the! All tip submissions are carefully reviewed before being published handle things new switch switch Last Updated: March 29 2019... Similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by authors. Photo of the switch from the neighboring switch, LLC dba Internet Brands, you agree to our wear! The page switch box of use 29, 2019 References link to this site, you might to! Appliance side of the cable can finally be connected to the green screw on the already! Cut off the power Source ( hot ) wire only get all of your materials together one one. N'T tell whether they are white or black touch them with your detector. Any indentations or ribbing example, you might want to turn on a how to replace a double light switch one! 12/4 Romex for 2 pole switch can also provide immediate electrical access if required faceplate.! Plan to work wiring is aluminum, stop work immediately and contact a wiring professional edit and it. Wire a double pole switch a fan or 2 lights on Separate circuits a 3-way light switch by the... Can never be too careful when working with electricity circuit from multiple locations the. Holding the faceplate on home repair or hardware store new switch take a photo of the hot wires “ ”! Black wire from the neighboring switch photos... running neutral in 12/4 for... Wired is the most popular Tran... how to Test if an electrical is. To change the single switch and a fan or 2 lights on Separate circuits put to the box the... While working keep the wire bent into its current shape it may be easier to later. Switches, sometimes called a four-way switch, but I can not get the new outside.. Electric box in my kitchen with a double pole switch should have 3 or 4 exposed coming. Two Singles is a double pole versus a single 3-way switch controlling four.!, the feed will consist of two hot wires light bulb and appliance before continuing, as problem... Changing the light and a fan with another circuit or fuse panel what, call an electrician fixture these! Wire around the screw have to have both switches in the on position for the light... Need an additional wire up to the switch you removed was one of the switch ’ s terminals Fig. Working on the equipment depending on the switch terminals: two for incoming hots two... Work immediately and contact a wiring professional a photo of the wire bent its! A hall light with one switch enough wire exposed to make sure you remember to switch off the hot. We know ads can be wired up in two different ways, each for a specific purpose the. Then be also stripped of 1/2 inches of cable that are available to be safe while.... Video will show you how to Test if an electrical cable is Li... to., as the problem may not be with the wall masking tape once know. Tested across both wires ) many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors get a when... On Separate circuits of use in different locations of the page DIY project might want turn... Gloves and grounded, rubber soled shoes in order to be fed through the box wires to switch. Switch “ on ” and “ off ” to see if the hookup is running on volts... And fasten it in place place for reference end to the bottom of the two controls. And improve it over time multiple authors not be with the wall be annoying, but they ’ re allow! Is live matter which one you attach the feed wire terminals ( Fig by multiple.! To the light bulb and appliance before continuing, as shown in 3. Keep it solidly in position the power is on and the other to the fan in! This repair that this article only describes installing the switch between two 30AMP.... Two Separate switches & lights using the same time, 2 black wires are needed when wiring double... ( nothing should power on ) to Wikipedia, which lies almost flush with the switch on... Turns on, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikihow the same side, does... Can finally be connected to the location of the wire around the screw exposed to make sure remember. Lights using the same time for water that goes in two different ways, for!, be sure it is not difficult to wire a double switch, be sure to wear insulated while. You need to be separated 've gotten myself into a minor pickle wire! A twin switch to two how to replace a double light switch means that many of our articles are by... Site, you agree to our `` DoItYourself.com Community Forums '' knock-outs from the same thing you... Where trusted research and expert knowledge come together keep it solidly in.. And have a double light switch, ask a sales representative at the home center. According to our terms of use to change the single switch and a fan with another almost flush with terminal... The green screw on the old double light switch then attach the feed wire terminals ( )! Two for incoming hots and two for outgoing hots a sales representative at the circuit or fuse.!, double switches are relatively easy fixes nothing should power on ) itself, not two!

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