How to Move a Light Switch: A Step-by-Step Guide

There are many situations wherein it will be handy if you are aware of how to move a light switch. For instance, you can use this knowledge when moving an electrical outlet if you need to add a door or cabinet. If it is in a poor location and if it gets wet because of dripping water, you will also feel the need to relocate the receptacle. Many home renovation projects will necessitate the need to do so.

The good news is that moving a light switch can be an easy undertaking. It might seem to be difficult at first, but once you are aware of how to do it right and when you have the right tools, you will see that it is indeed one thing that any beginner can do. There is no need to have technical expertise or an extensive experience in DIY electrical projects.

Move a Light Switch

How to Move a Light Switch

Below are the easy steps that you need to follow.

  • Safety should be your main priority. Be aware of the electrical hazards that can confront you. With this, one of the most important is to make sure that the circuit is not live, which will prevent electrocution. It will also be good to wear thick gloves and to work in an area that has proper lighting. To add, see to it that you carefully follow the right instructions.
  • Take out the cover of the light switch that you intend to move. In some cases, you can just flip the plate with your hand or with a sharp object. Before you proceed, turn on and off the switch for a couple of times to verify that there is no more electricity running in the circuit.
  • Using a screwdriver, take off the wall plate. Pull it off from the wall. Hold it on the plate and not on the wires to prevent the latter from breaking. Start disconnecting the wires from the current switch. To make it easier to know the appropriate position of the wires later on, use color-coded tapes or markings.
  • Using a stud finder, check the new location of the light switch. Make sure there is no stud on the top.
  • Look at the wires that are attached to the old wire. If you are buying new wires, make sure of compatibility.
  • Using a pencil, create an outline that passes through the new location of the light switch. Cut the drywall with the use of a razor. Run a new electrical wire from the hole originating from the old switchbox. If there are wall studs where you will pass, you need to connect one-inch strip, which you need to patch when you are finished with the relocation of the light switch.
  • Keep pushing the wire until you see it in the new electrical box. Cut five inches from the end of the wire. Push the wire into the box, install in the drywall, and lock the tabs.
  • Strip the wire casing, about six inches. From the black and white wires that are inside the case, strip an inch.
  • The next thing you have to do is to wrap the copper wire around the green screw of the newly installed switch box. Also, attach the white and black wires on their respective positions. Screw the wires in the box.
  • Cut the old wires from the previous switch. Cover the old switch box with a plank cover. Switch on the breaker and by this time, you must already see the fruit of your labor.

As you can see from the discussions above on how to move a light switch, the task is not the easiest, but with patience and a bit of an effort to spare, you can accomplish it on your own. You can save money by making this another DIY task rather than having to pay a professional to do the job for you.


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