Simple Home Repairs You Can Do Yourself

Light Switch Repair

Do you own a home? Are you always stressed about simple repairs in the home and have to call a repair man? Do you ever feel you have been over charged? Have you ever thought if only you can do-it-yourself? That is DIY. Here we will try to show with short videos, pictures and written instructions, how you can save yourself some money if you are willing to learn how to. And even if you never attempt these repairs yourself, it is good to avail yourself with the knowledge so you can talk the language to your repairman.

Want to repair a busted light switch, a leaky faucet, a clogged up sewer? With a few hand tools, maybe a drill and power saw if you are determined, you can do it. These are some of the things we are going to tackle in time. We also welcome those who can contribute their experience to these instructions.


For this particular repair, you will be working in the switch box in the house, and the circuit breaker box which is usually in the basement.

If you just replaced a new light bulb and the light still does not come on, a few things could be the reason. Like maybe the breaker in the panel box in the basement stopped working, or, the light receptacle is no good, or the wires between the switch and the light became loose, or the light switch is worn. The most common thing to happen is that the light switch is worn. How are you going to tell. Well here is where the fear of electricity is going to have to go. First you have to go to the basement and turn off the circuit breaker associated with the switch. .

All beakers in the breaker box should have a label for the room it powers. Wear rubber soled boots, and make sure you are not wet. Do not stand or hold on to any metal nearby. Use a piece of cardboard to stand on,  while looking into the circuit breaker box. Use a bright flash light, preferrable a forehead light which leaves your hands free to hold your flash light and balance yourself. Study the breakers very carefully. You would see an OFF and ON either side of the switch of the breaker.

THIS IS A WHAT A BREAKER LOOKS LIKE OUTSIDE OF THE BREAKER BOX:   If you see a breaker with your room name on it you need to flip it to the OFF position with the tip of your fingers. Be careful not to touch anything else. Now there is no power coming to the switch. Go back top the switch and remove the two screws on the cover with a screw driver, and take the cover off. 

AN EXPOSED SWITCH:   For additional precaution, check the wires with your continuity tester to make sure the power to the switch is turned off. Place one tester points on one side of the screw where there is a wire and place the other pointer onthe green screw. If there is power in the switch the tester would flash a light. You then know electrical power is still coming to the switch. Go check again and make sure it was the right switch. If the same thing happens when you retry the switch, some one labeled the breaker wrong. Now you would have to shut down the entire power to your home. To do this go back to the breaker and shine the flash inside the panel box. At the very top you’d see a huge breaker, the largest in the box. It would usually have 100 or higher written on it. That’s 100 amps of electric. Turn all of the small breakers off first. Stand with your feet firmly planted on the cardboard box. Place on hand behind you back and touching nothing else, hold each switch with the edges of your fingers and flip it to the OFF position. Some breakers may already be in the off position.Do the same thing with the main breaker. Now you can work on the light switch and not worry about getting electrocuted. Take the cover off the switch box.This is almost exactly what you did the first time.  Unscrew the switch from the box.    Remove the wires off the old switch and replace the new on in the same manner the old one was wired.  If need be take a picture of the old one wiring to remember how it was wired. The previous step is very important because all switches are not wired the same. There may be more or less wires coming into a switch box and are wired differently because of that. The white wires may be wire nutted together or, one white wire may be on one side of the switch and the black on the other. The bare copper wire goes on the green screw. Screw the wires very snugly back onto the screws of the new switch, and firmly and gently push the switch assembly back into the box and screw it tightly to the box with the screws at the top and bottom of the switch, then install the switch plate/cover. Return to the basement and do everything in the reverse. Turn the main breaker on first, then turn the small breaker on one by one. Then return and check your light to see if it comes on. Chances are it does come on. But if it does not, other things have to be checked. The light receptacle is the next step in the repair. And this would be the next segment of this article.

DISCLAIMER: This is for knowledge based purposes only. No one on this site can be held responsible for any harm you may cause yourself or property. All the caution given here must be taken very seriously. Most of all check with your local permit agency and see if you need a permit to go into your panel box.

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