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What’s The Deal With Light Switch Installation?

August 30, 2011 at 9:34 pm | Category: Electrical Tips

There are many times when a homeowner wishes to change the location of a light switch or install a brand new switch in a renovated room. Unfortunately, the process can be difficult for beginners and requires dealing with electrical wiring. It’s usually best to consult a residential electrician before cutting into the drywall and handling wiring, even if the power has been disconnected properly.

Moving a Light Switch

Sometimes moving a light switch to a completely different area is necessary. Some homes, for example, have poor wiring design and place all outlets on one side of the room. Moving a switch, however, can be a fairly complicated process and requires first turning off the power to the area. Next, a hole must be cut in the drywall and new 14 gauge wiring must be run to the new location. Passing wall studs requires cutting a one-inch hole into the drywall at each stud which must be patched later. It can take many hours for an amateur to move a light switch but an electrician can complete the task quickly.

Light Switch Installation

Installing a new light switch can be even more difficult than moving an existing wall switch. There are three main types of switches to choose from: toggle, mercury and silent. Complete installation of a new wall switch requires cutting into the drywall and feeding wire through the wall to the new source. Electrical wiring must be stripped and properly installed on the new switch to control a single light. Because of the complexity of the installation it’s best to consult a residential electrician to avoid wiring mistakes or injury.

Warnings about Electrical Wiring

The main reason to consult a professional before installing or moving switches is the danger involved. If the power to the area is not properly turned off it’s easy to experience electric shock. Electrical wiring in a home carries enough power to cause injury or death from electrocution. Another problem with an amateur doing wiring work is the risk of improperly installed wires. Wiring that isn’t insulated and protected properly poses a high fire risk. Residential electricians are qualified to move and install wall switches because they have the training to prevent safety hazards during installation.

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