Installing light Switches

Old 07-25-01, 08:42 AM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a

I have installed new switches and outlets in my home after painting....but.
The original switches in my hall have the screws on the side of the switches, but they have wires connecting them to the wall in the back.
I know stupid question, but I do not want to burn down the house.
Can I still use the switches I purchased with the screws only, and how do I determine which wire goes to which screw? Also there is a ground wire, where does that one go?
As you can tell I am a beginner....
Thank you!
Old 07-25-01, 10:01 AM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: ottawa canada
Posts: 1,164
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
The push in stab type connections in the back of the switch are the same conenctions are the screws on the side of the switch, the screw connections are usually a more reliable connection then the push in stab connections and are usually the prefered. So again, the stab pushin connections are a dublicate of the side screw connections.

2-way switches have to switch wires, and 3 way switches have 3 wires conencted to the switch. The 2 wires for a 2 way switch connect to the 2 screws of switch. For 3 way switches , the correct wire must be on teh common screw of switch, there is no danger if it is wrong , only that the switch won't turn on the light on/off properly.

Some of the newer switches may have a green grounding screw on the chassis of the switch which gets connected to ground.
Green screws are for grounding, dark or brass color screws are for the actual switched hot wires.

If you would like further information on detailed wiring senereos for switches check the site link bellow.
Old 07-25-01, 11:21 AM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
It's much easier and you'll get a better job by connecting the switchs to the existing wiring with stranded leads.For the single-pole (2-terminal) switches connect 2 Black leads using if you can crimp lugs and tape around the switch to insulate the terminals.Pre-wire the switches first then simply wire-nut the leads to the existing wires.For the 3-ways (3-terminal) switches use 1 Black and 2 Reds.The Black lead connects to the "common" terminal which is distinct from the other 2 which are similiar in appearance.The 2 Reds will connect to 2 wires in a 3-wire cable,either Red and Black or Red and White.Test the switches before setting them in place.With the stranded leads you'll have any easy fit and plenty of slack.

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Your question will be posted in: