You should have 3 or 4 exposed wires coming out of the switch box. Remove the wires from the old switch. It is quite acceptable to change the single switch to a twin switch to control the new outside light. When setting up stationary appliances or equipment, it's always a good idea to establish an accessible disconnect nearby from which the power can be easily turned off. Use a pair of wire strippers to expose at least 1/2-inch of wire. The difference between a single- and double-pole switch is that the latter controls two circuits at the same time. It's easier than you might think. All information is provided "AS IS." Place a piece of electrical tape across the circuit breaker once you have it turned off in order to warn others not to switch the breaker on. Replace it with a new one. One switch controls two separate circuits. This installation illustrated here uses a three-wire cable but it is exactly the same wiring at the switch in two-wire cable installation for the colored wires, except that the neutral (white) wires are to be ignored. Single-pole light switches are used to control power to light fixtures or receptacles from one location and are the most common type of switch found in the home.The most common style of switch is the toggle switch, but these can look pretty tired and dated over time. To replace this kind of switch, follow these steps: Turn off the power to the switch at the main circuit breaker or fuse panel. The cable length connected to the appliance, with a section of the jacket removed, is then installed into the electrical box and clamped in place with the cable connector as in Figure 5. That way, if an emergency occurs, like a component catching fire or just smelling burnt, the power can be quickly shut down, eliminating the risk of further damage. If the cable is too tight to permit at least six inches from each end to extend into the box, cut the feed from the breaker first. The second way is through a three-wire cable where one white neutral wire and two hot wires, one black and the other red, will be used. Unscrew the switch from the electrical box and pull it out with the wires still attached. With everything properly connected, the switch can be placed into its electrical box (Figure 9) and screwed in position and the cover plate added to give it its finishing touch. For these it doesn't matter what silver terminal you use. 1995-2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. Unscrew and remove the switch plate; then use a voltage tester to make sure that the circuit is dead. When the toggle switch is mounted properly, the words ON and OFF are upright on the toggle lever, and the light goes on when you flip the switch up. It isn't unusual to wire two or more light and switch combinations from the same power source -- in fact, it's common practice. wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. Let us show you how. A switch with three wires could be used for a hall light with a switch at each end. To prepare the cord for the new switch. If a double pole switch is to be added to a 220 volt line with a two-wire cable, only two wires will come through into the switch’s electrical box besides the copper ground wire. You should still wear gloves and grounded, rubber soled shoes in order to be safe while working. SHOP ALL DIMMERS & SWITCHES Share: categories. If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. If the white wire was to be measured across to the red or the black, 110 volts would be measured in each instance. … At this point, if the cable has a neutral line, both neutral wires are to be connected together with a wire nut connector after which the ground wire from the 220V line is looped around and fastened to the ground screw terminal of the electrical box as shown in Figure 6. To wire a double switch, you'll need to cut the power, remove the old switch, then feed and connect the wires into the double switch fixture. Isolate the circuit you plan to work on by removing the circuit fuse. Learn more... A double-switch allows you to operate two lights or appliances from the same location. Make sure there is enough wire exposed to make a connection with the terminal. All rights reserved. A variation of the traditional toggle switch is the lever-action switch, which lies almost flush with the wall. 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