replacing wall switch


Old 02-03-00, 11:16 AM
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I am replacing the light switches in my living room. the new switches have two screws on the side(levitron switch) the screws are the same color. the only difference i see is that the plates behind the screws are different: one is smooth, and the other is lined. how do i know which screw to attach the black or white wire to. also, there is a spot on the back of the switch where you can just insert the wire instead of wrapping it around the screw. which way is best? also, there is no third screw or spot for attaching the ground wire. where do i attach it?
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Old 02-03-00, 03:56 PM
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Sybl...There are two things to consider... 1. If there is just one set of wires coming into the switch box(one each of black, white, and ground), this is a "switch-loop" and it doesn't matter which screw the black and white wires are connected to, as long as they aren't touching each other. 2. If there are two sets(two each of black/white/ground) this is a "mid-circuit" loop. Here, one black wire goes to one screw and the other black goes to the other screw. The two white wires are connected together with a screw-on connector. The grounds are connected together then connected to the switch box(if the box is metal). As far as screws vs. slots, it depends on space and length of wire available...this is a convenience thing. I prefer to use the screws because they tend to be more secure. I've run into a few plastic switches without grounding screws. In this case I managed to secure a ground wire to the screw that attaches the switch to the switch box. If you can't do that, I'm not sure what you need to do...maybe sprky will reply with a suggestion.

[This message has been edited by Stevenb (edited February 03, 2000).]
Old 02-03-00, 09:46 PM
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on switches that dont have a grounding screw if the box is metal then attach it to the box, if its a plastic box just shove it 2 the back of the box and forget it. on your switches dont worrie which screw to attach what color if theres only 2 wires it does not make a difference, id also use the screws this is much better then back stabing (putting wire in the hole in back) i have seen many a dead switch service calls that the wire just came out of the back.

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