Dumb electrical switch question

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  #1  
Old 03-26-20, 06:53 AM
H
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Dumb electrical switch question

So I have a non working intermatic switch in my house. I didnít install it, it was there. It doesnít work and I want to replace it with a regular switch. My problem is even though the panel is well labeled whatís the best way to test that the power to the switch is off for sure? Since it wonít turn the lights on. A non contact pen? Which wire to check?

ive replaced many outlets and switches in the past but Iíve always been able to be sure the power was off....donít wanna get shocked over this one.

thanks!
 
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Old 03-26-20, 07:01 AM
M
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A non contact pen may tell yu that the power is off.
But it may also tell you that the power is on when it is actually off as they are way too sensitive.

The only way I know is to pull the receptacle and check the wires with a multimeter.
 
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Old 03-26-20, 09:33 AM
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I usually use a 2-step process to check for power when I'm not sure:

First, usually a non-contact pen. They work well most of the time, but as manden mentioned, they aren't 100%

Then I always use a neon tester and quickly check each wire to each other and to the ground in the box. It takes about 5 seconds and ensures that I'm working in a fully dead box. After a few unintentionally live wire cuts, I like being sure.
 
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