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Old 09-02-2012, 12:14 AM   #1
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Changing electrical switches in my new home


Hello Friends,
I recently bought a new townhome and I want to change the electrical switches and dimmers in the house. I was wondering as to where should I go to buy these switches? Should I buy it on online websites like eBay or go to homedepot. I found switches on home depot to be pretty expensive($20 +). Also should I attempt to do the wiring myself or call a licensed electrician. How much should I expect this project to cost if I get it done by a contractor?

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Old 09-02-2012, 05:46 AM   #2
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Changing electrical switches in my new home


If you can find them cheaper on the web from a reputable company, then by all means go ahead. Keep in mind that devices such as dimmers have been known to be bad out of the box and returns can be a PITA if you purchased them over the internet. I would stay local, spend the little bit extra for the piece of mind of knowing you can return them if you have a problem.

Changing devices is something a homeowner can do to save some cash. Before you remove any wires from the old device, snap a picture of what it looked like before you made any changes, that way you will have a good idea of how it goes back together.

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Old 09-02-2012, 07:43 AM   #3
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Changing electrical switches in my new home


Quote:
Originally Posted by k_buz
If you can find them cheaper on the web from a reputable company, then by all means go ahead. Keep in mind that devices such as dimmers have been known to be bad out of the box and returns can be a PITA if you purchased them over the internet. I would stay local, spend the little bit extra for the piece of mind of knowing you can return them if you have a problem.

Changing devices is something a homeowner can do to save some cash. Before you remove any wires from the old device, snap a picture of what it looked like before you made any changes, that way you will have a good idea of how it goes back together.
And do not forget to kill the power to each switch that you change before you remove it from the electrical box.
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Old 09-02-2012, 09:12 AM   #4
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Changing electrical switches in my new home


Inspect all old outlets that have two colored wires going to the gold screws---

there is a snap off tab between the screws---see if it is snapped off the old outlet--if so do the same to the new one---

that is a half switched/half constant powered outlet.
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Old 09-02-2012, 09:16 AM   #5
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Changing electrical switches in my new home


But your switches and receptacles from home depot, they're like a buck a piece plus
New cover plates, you can easily remove the old ones and put the new ones on, black wire to bronze screw and white wire To silver acre. Use a small torpedo level to level all your switches and plugs so your cover plates are nice and straight
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Old 09-02-2012, 09:18 AM   #6
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Changing electrical switches in my new home


I've never even seen a switch that expencive at the box store.
Look on the lower shelves for the contractors packs.
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Old 09-02-2012, 07:28 PM   #7
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Changing electrical switches in my new home


One good tip----leave the old outlets on the floor below the new ones----if something is amiss--you can look at the old ones to see if the tabs were removed---just in case you missed one while doing the install.
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Old 09-02-2012, 10:05 PM   #8
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Changing electrical switches in my new home


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Originally Posted by salilsurendran View Post
Hello Friends,
I recently bought a new townhome and I want to change the electrical switches and dimmers in the house. I was wondering as to where should I go to buy these switches? Should I buy it on online websites like eBay or go to homedepot. I found switches on home depot to be pretty expensive($20 +). Also should I attempt to do the wiring myself or call a licensed electrician. How much should I expect this project to cost if I get it done by a contractor?
Normally majorty of the switches are not that expensive unless you got a bulk package which they will have 10 switches in the box.

Most of the time single pole toggle / rocker switch useally are about a Euros or so nothing like 20 Euros unless you have specail appaction like timer or multi location dimmer then it will be about right.

Before you start this you will need to know where is your electrique breaker / fuse box is located that is very important step before you start anything and once you start replace the switch or receptale always I will say Always turn the breaker or fuse off first before you do anything there.

To replace the switch after the circuit is off unscrew the switch plate cover off then unscrew the switch yoke off then pull it out probly 10 cm ( apx 3 inches ) and make a note of how it hook up and unhook the conductor ( wire ) one at the time to switch over the new switch that should take less than 5 minuites the most. To put it back in just reverse what I describing above but with switch plates most case do not get it super tight otherwise you will crack the switch plate cover.

To change the receptatle again make sure the circuit is off it will be simauir to the switch as I descrbing above but there is couple more step you will really have to pay attetion to the connections but simple rules is Black* is on brass colour screw the white conductor on silver screw then bare or green conductor on green screw.

( * Note some case you will see black and red conductor show up then you will have to watch it very carefull and look at the old receptale there is a small tab between the two screws if that break off then you have switched receptale so just watch which one to hook up.)

That should not take more than 5 minuites if no suprise along the way.

If you are not really famuair with electrique system you can have electrician do this for you but the rates will varies a bit depending on where you are located.

Merci,
Marc
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Old 09-22-2012, 07:28 PM   #9
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Changing electrical switches in my new home


I have been successfully able to change all my switches and outlets to white and it looks great. However, I have a problem. One of the boxes is completely overfilled with wires and it's a 3 gang switch. That gang looks very ugly with the middle switch completely depressed inside. I was wondering do i have to change the wall outlet box or is there any kind of thing I can do to fix this problem? Another issue is some of the outlets are slightly misaligned in the sense the left edge of the outlet is a little inside than the right edge or vice versa. This is probably because of the wall or maybe because of the wires inside. How can I fix this?
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Old 09-22-2012, 07:48 PM   #10
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Changing electrical switches in my new home


There are spacers you can buy which slip over the outlet or switch mounting screws, helping to bring them out flush with the cover plate. Ask the "electrical guy" at home depot for outlet spacers/shims.
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Old 09-22-2012, 09:28 PM   #11
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Changing electrical switches in my new home


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Originally Posted by sublime2 View Post
And do not forget to kill the power to each switch that you change before you remove it from the electrical box.
Now you just ruined the fun. Everyone knows that if you just remove one wire at a time, or pull the light bulbs from the fixtures if the switches are on switch legs, you can save half a headache.

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