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How To Replace Or Install A Light Switch In A Backyard Shed

single-pole-switch

A single pole switch is used when there is only one switch controlling a light, like in a backyard shed. Installing a single pole switch is a simple electrical project because the power comes in the box, goes thru the switch and then goes to the light.

brief how to

  • Strip 6 inches of sheating from the end of both the wires coming in and going out of the box
  • Remove the insulation from the last inch of the wires.
  • Use the holes in the wirestrippers to form a hook at the ends of the black wires
  • Attach the wires to the brass terminals on the switch
  • Attach the two white wires together with a wire connector
  • If using a plastic box attach the two ground wires together and add a 6 inch pigtail to go to the gound on the switch
  • If using a metal box attach the two ground wires together and add two 6 inch pigtails, one gets attached to the metal box and one gets attached to the switch
  • Attach the switch to the box and test it

tools and materials

  • Single pole switch
  • Wire strippers
  • Needlenose pliers
  • Screwdriver, phillips head
  • Switch box
  • Wire connectors
  • If using a metal box you will also need, grounding screw and cable clamps

light switch wiring diagram

step 1 Strip And Prep The Wires

strip insulation of wire

Strip about 9-10 inches of sheathing from the end of the incoming and outgoing cables. Bring the cables and wires into the box until about 1/2" of the sheathing is inside the box. Remove the insulation from the last inch of all four of the wires. Use the holes in the wirestrippers or needle nose pliers to form a hook at the ends of the black wires

step 2 Wire The Black Wire To The Switch

Attach the black wires to the brass terminals on the switch, make sure the hook on the wire ends wraps clockwise around the terminal.

single pole switch black wire

step 3 Attach The White Wire To The Switch

Attach the white wire to the switch on the opposite side of the switch from the black wire.

step 4 Attach The Ground

Attach the ground wire to the switch ground termial. It is usually the green colored screw.

If using a metal box attach the two ground wires together and add two 6 inch pigtails, one gets attached to the metal box and one gets attached to the switch. This is typically used in commercial construction and not necessary for backyard sheds.

step 2 Attach the switch to the box and test it

Push the wires into the box and the switch to the face of the box. Use the two screws that come with the switch to screw it to the switch box. Turn the breaker on and test the circuit.

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