How To Replace a 2 Gang Light Switch
Replacing a 2 Gang Switch, or double light switch, is not a difficult DIY job. These are now available in a number of colours and styles to fit better with your home decor.
Just remember that you are dealing with electricity and so you must ensure your safety at all time. If any any doubt call in a qualified electrician.
In this guide we’ll walk you through the process of changing your light switch with easy to follow instructions.
NOTE: This guide is intended for the UK ONLY. Remember to TURN OFF the POWER at the mains before working on your electrical wiring.
The first, and most important thing you need to do is TURN OFF the electricity. Also let anyone else in the house know that you are working on the electrics, so they don’t accidentally turn the power on. You can place a Post-It Note on the mains box to tell anyone not to turn the power on.
Take the packaging of your new switch and carefully read the installation instructions on the packaging.
Using an Electrical Screwdriver, remove the screws on the existing light switch.
Pull the light switch away from the wall gently. DO NOT disconnect the wires at this stage. Don’t throw away the old screws, you may need to use these again if the new screws are not long enough.
Now carefully examine the positions of each wire on the existing switch. Note the colours of the wires – Green/Yellow = EARTH – Brown = LIVE – Blue = Neutral. IMPORTANT: If you live in an older house the wiring colours may be different for example: Green = EARTH – RED = LIVE – Black = Neutral
Note carefully that if you DO NOT have an earth wire then DO NOT fit wires to any switches that have a metallic finish.
The easiest way to change a switch is to take your new one, place it next to the old one and change over the wires one at a time.
Remove the wire from the ‘Common’ connection and insert this into the ‘Common’ connection in the new switch.
Remove the ‘L1′ wire from the old switch and insert this into the ‘L1′ connection in the new switch.
If there is an ‘L2′ wire, then remove this and insert this into the ‘L2′ connection with the new switch – Note: There may not always be an ‘L2′ wire present.
On your new switch make sure all the connections are properly tightened and that no copper wiring is visible.
If you are fitting a metallic light switch, such as brass or chrome, then you will have to attach an ‘Earth Fly Lead’. Do do this look for the ‘EARTH’ connection on the back of your new switch. Take a length of EARTH wire, strip away a small amount of plastic coating until the copper wire is exposed. Use a wire stripper for this job.
Attach the wiring in the EARTH connector and tighten the screw. Now take the other end of the EARTH wire and strip away a small amount of plastic coating to expose the copper wire. Attach this to the light fitting metal box in the wall. You will find a connector clamp to connect it to.
You can now screw the switch to the wall – remember that the new screws provided may not be long enough, so you’ll have to use the old ones. Fold the wires neatly into the wall box and screw the switch in place.
Turn on the power and test the gang switch.
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