6 Steps to Installing a Toggle Switch

A yellow screwdriver.
What You'll Need
Diagonal cutters
Wire strippers
Wire nut
Soldering iron
Toggle switch
Piece of solder

There are many advantages to installing a toggle switch. A toggle switch has the power to connect and disconnect electrical power to a device. The ability to turn off power occurs with the moving of a plastic or metal tab. It is easy to add a toggle switch to an already existing electrical device.

Step 1 - Remove All Power

Before you install a toggle switch, make sure the power is turned off. Once the power is turned off, unscrew the housing on the device you are planning to add the toggle switch to.

Step 2 - Drill a Hole for the Toggle Switch

With a power drill, put a hole in the panel of the device where you want the toggle switch. Make sure the size of the hold matches the size of the toggle switch.

Step 3 - Cut the Wire

Unscrew any screws covering the wires and remove them with pliers. After you put the power input cord into the device, use a pair of diagonal cutters to cut the wire. Next, cut a piece of insulation off of each end with wire strippers and connect them to new black wires. The insulation should be 3/4 inch. Be sure to avoid nicking the copper during the stripping of the wires. Twist one black wire end over another wire that is cut.

Step 4 - Twist

When securing the wires, twist the wire that is exposed clockwise and then twist a wire nut clockwise over the connection. The tip is to make sure there is no existing exposed wire. If it is a three-way switch that is being replaced, you need to match the wires in the way that the old wires were secured. Remember that there were three connector screws, two brass ones and one black one. Usually the wire will match the screw it belongs to, but to be safe remember how they were connected. If you are replacing a toggle switch in a four-way switch, then two screws will be one color, and two screws will be another color. Always match the right colored wires to the right screws.

Step 5 - Set up the Toggle Switch

With the new black wires, bond these ends around two of the three terminals on the toggle switch. Ensure that one of the connections is to the center terminal.

Step 6 - Use Soldering Iron

To keep the wires from untwisting, solder them in by using a soldering iron over a small piece of solder. Take precautions when using the soldering iron and make sure you don't leave it on the solder for a long period of time. It shouldn't take more than a few minutes to melt down the solder.