Replacing two 10a switches with...?

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Old 08-19-16, 06:46 PM
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Replacing two 10a switches with...?

I have two light switches in my garage that I would like to replace because one of them is starting to fail I believe. It seems like the switch wants to fall when it is in the on position, and proceeds to make snapping/popping noises if the switch does drop a little when it's on.

So after taking off the wall plate, it looks like they're two 10A switches. The breaker I used to turn off power to the switches is a 20A breaker. So since I can't find single 10A wall switches, I was thinking about installing a dual wall switch, that's rated at 15A. What do you guys think? I don't know a lot about electrical, and I don't want to pay an electrician for something that seems fairly straightforward. I appreciate your help.

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Old 08-19-16, 06:58 PM
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Most AC type switches are rated at 15 or 20 amps, which means they can handle more current that the 10 amp you have. You can safely replace your switches with any quality switch rated 10 amps or higher. I don't see why you have to install a dual switch, just replace with two singles like you have now.

Shut off the power and connect them the same as they are currently.

I don't see any ground wires, but if the box is grounded then you should run a ground wire to the green screw on the new switch, or by self-grounding switches.
 
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Old 08-19-16, 07:23 PM
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Thank you for the quick reply.

I was thinking about doing a 15A dual switch since the breaker is a 20A breaker. The original switches were 10A each, so in my mind 10A + 10A = 20A, which is safe. So I guess not knowing much about electrical, I was afraid of using two 15A switches, for a combined 30A, when the breaker is 20A. Maybe I'm wrong and this doesn't matter for switches though?

I don't see a ground wire attached to either switch. I'm not sure, but it looks like what might be ground wires on the right side, attached to the box?

 
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Old 08-19-16, 07:34 PM
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I was afraid of using two 15A switches, for a combined 30A,
Switches are passive devices that just pass along the load on the circuit. Switch amperage is determined by the actual load not the switch rating.

In a metal box that is correctly grounded and with a non metallic switch plate grounding the switch is optional.
 
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Old 08-19-16, 09:06 PM
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The switch rating is just the maximum amount of current they are designed to interrupt. The rating do not add up.
 
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Old 08-20-16, 07:26 PM
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Thanks again for the replies.

I installed two 20A leviton self grounding switches today, and everything went fine.

I've attached a picture of the way the original switches were wired, which just seems weird to me, but maybe it's normal. I wired the new switches exactly how the old switches were wired as well.

There is one thing, the metal part of the switch where the ground should go is like 1mm away from the junction box. I didn't think this would be a problem, since they're both grounded locations, but though I would mention it anyways.

 
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Old 08-20-16, 07:36 PM
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The proximity of the ground to the box is not an issue.
 
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Old 08-22-16, 11:44 AM
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it looks like they're two 10A switches.
Just very old switches, probaly 1950s vintage.
 
 

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