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How to replace and terminate a two gang switch

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A 2 gang switch in my shop broke, so I might as well take this opportunity to show you guys how to replace a simple 2 gang switch. First of all, SWITCH OFF THE MAINS!

The broken 2 gang switch.

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Loosen the 2 screws that holds the switch to it’s base.

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Make a note of the connections. If it has colored wires, it’s much easier. In this case, there are 2 live wires (the red ones) interconnected to each switch. If there is no color differentiation, the wires that are interconnected with each other are always the live wire. If you think you might mix up the wires, just mark them with something like a piece of tape or anything.

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Using a small screwdriver or a test pen, loosen the terminals of all the wires.

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Observe the new switch, you will notice that beside each terminal, there is an indication of what that terminal is. The terminal that the live wire goes in is normally indicated with the letter “C” or “COM”. The other terminal has a “L1” indication. This is the terminal for the other wire which brings electricity to the lights. We call them the “switch wire” in a wireman’s slang.

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Use back the short strip of wire that were used to interconnect the two “Live” terminals from the old switch, or if you want you can make a new one. It looks like this.

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Put the wire into the 2 terminals marked, “com”

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Terminate the switch, making sure you put the “Live” wires into the terminals indicated with the words, “com”. Also make sure the short strip of wire are interconnecting the 2 terminal tightly. Connect the other 2 wires to the terminals marked, “L1” Tighten all terminals.

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Push back the switch into it’s base and tighten back the 2 screws.

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Switch on the “Mains” and test out the switch. If you find that the switch now switches “ON” while the switch is in “OFF” position, it means you have put the wires into the wrong terminals. All you have to do is to loosen the whole switch again and turn it upside down if you don’t feel like redoing the terminations all over again.


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