How to Replace a Push Button Light Switch

A push-button light switch controls the operation of a light fixture the way a traditional single-pole switch done, except instead of toggling the switch up and down, the user simply pushes a button to turn the light on or off. Replacing a push-button switch is equally identical to replacing a toggle switch. It's a simple job that takes about ten minutes.

Step 1

Turn off the circuit breaker that powers the light circuit before you start replacing the push-button switch.

Step 2

Unscrew and remove the switch's cover plate.

Step 3

Remove the screws that secure the switch to the wall box and carefully pull the switch out by pulling on the top and bottom tabs. Do not touch the sides of the switch until you test for voltage.

Step 4

Use the voltage tester to ensure that you've turned off the correct breaker.

Step 5

Remove the ground wire from the switch's ground screw (if it has one). Then remove the two wires attached to the side of the switch. Keep them separated and keep the top wire pointing upward and the bottom wire downward, so that you can identify them easier when installing the new switch.

Step 6

Check the wires to see if they need to be cut and re-stripped. If they are corroded or look to be in poor shape, use the wire strippers to cut off the bad section and strip 3/4 inch of new insulation from the end of the wires. Use the hole on the wire stripper to make a hook-shaped bend in the exposed sections of wire so they can fit under the switch's screw terminals.

Step 7

Connect the ground wire to the ground screw on the push-button switch, if it has one. Then, connect the top wire to the top terminal on the side of the switch and the bottom wire to the bottom terminal. Make sure all of the screws are tightened-down securely.

Step 8

Wrap electrical tape around the terminals and secure the push-button switch to the wall box.

Step 9

Install the switch plate and turn the circuit back on.

Step 10

Test your wiring by turning the light on and off.