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How to Remove a Wall Switch

Kenneth Crawford

Some remodeling projects require removal of lights in a room. Often when the light is no longer necessary, neither is the wall switch that used to operate the light. Removing a wall switch is a matter of pulling the switch out and replacing the cover with a solid plate, available at home improvement centers. Before removing the switch, you must ensure that there is no power going to it when you disassemble it. Purchase a simple circuit tester with a light to verify the power is off.

  1. Turn the circuit breaker off to the wall switch you want to remove. The circuit breaker may control the whole room or just the outlets on a particular wall.

  2. Remove the screws securing the wall switch cover plate to the junction box with a flat-head screwdriver. Take off the cover plate and place the probes of your circuit tester on each of the screw terminals on the switch to ensure there is no power going to the switch. Refer to the directions for your circuit tester.

  3. Unscrew the two screws securing the switch to the junction box with a Phillips-head screwdriver. Pull the switch away from the junction box so that you can access the wire terminal screws on the side of the switch.

  4. Loosen the terminal screws on the side of the switch with a Phillips-head screwdriver, and pull the wires away from the switch. Pull the switch away from the wall.

  5. Twist a plastic wire cap over the end of each individual wire. Wrap electrical tape over each cap and wire to further secure the cap to the wire ends. Stuff the wires into the junction box. Place a solid cover plate over the junction box, and secure with the retaining screws. Turn on the circuit breaker to power the room outlets.