Install a Dimmer – Removing the Old Lighting Switch

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 21,864
    Home Maintenance Expert Steve McCurdy discusses removing the old lighting switch.

    Steve Mccurdy :Hi, I am Steve McCurdy from Leviton Manufacturing, and I am here today to talk about installing a dimmer. Now the first thing we are going to do is remove the wall plate and then remove the existing switch that's in the wall. I want to take in this case, a flathead screwdriver and back off the screws on the existing wall plate. Now, some plates are captive with the screws, this one we're removing them completely. So make sure you them in a safe place, you don't loose them later. Now once I remove the plate, I am going to test the existing switch to make sure that the power has been de-energized. I have a simple voltage tester, we 're going to do that with. Touch one at ground and then just touch the terminals in here. This confirms since there's no indicator light, that the power has been killed to the switch. Now I am going to remove the switch. Now sometimes it helps if you have a electric screwdriver, but in this case, I am using just a regular Phillips head screwdriver to remove these screws.

    I am going to gently hold the switch out. You'll notice that there is three wires on this switch. One has power, one goes to the load and one is for ground. So, these also, are connected at the back of the switch with spring loaded terminals. So, I am going to use a small screwdriver in order to dislodge the conductors from this switch. You just simply insert it, now I am going to remove the ground wire that's connected to this. You can always tell the ground connection by the green terminal that's on a switch or a dimmer. That's how we remove the existing switch and next, we're going to install the new dimmer.