Helpful Tips for Three-Way Switch Installation and Wall Outlet Replacement

When it comes to replacing your electrical outlets by yourself, it can be challenging. The safest thing to do is to call an electrician when you are having any problems with your electrical system or when you have tried to fix something yourself and made a mistake. However, if you are a do-it-yourselfer, follow these quick tips when it comes to installing a three-way light switch or replacing your electrical outlets.

Three-Way Switch Installation

A three-way switch is a way to control a light from two different locations. These can be very convenient for staircases inside your home. Follow these steps when installing or replacing a three-way switch.

Step 1: Before you replace or install anything, switch off the power to that area on the electrical panel.

Step 2: Unscrew the switch and remove from the wall with wires still attached. At this point, you can take a voltage tester to ensure the power is turned off.

Step 3: Mark your wires and remove them from the switch. Marking or labeling the wires is very important to make sure you are plugging them back into the right places.

Step 4: Connect the wires to the new switch in their correct places.

Step 5: For added safety, wrap the main body of the switch with electrical tape and replace the switch in the wall box.

Step 6: Reattach the wall plate and turn the power back on.

Wall Outlet Replacement

Replacing a standard wall outlet is a project homeowner can complete by themselves most of the time. There is still a chance that mistakes and injuries can happen. If this occurs calling a professional and trusted electrician should be your first step. Follow these steps when replacing a wall outlet.

Step 1: As mentioned above, switch off the power to that area before you begin replacing the wall outlet.

Step 2: As mentioned above, unscrew the outlet and test to make sure that the power is turned off.

Step 3: While wires are still attached to the outlet, label the black and white wires, then remove the wires.

Step 4: If the break-off tab connecting the two sets of terminals is broken off, remove the corresponding tabs from the new receptacle.

Step 5: Reattach the wires and replace the new outlet into the wall and screw it in.

Step 6: Reattach the wall cover and turn the power back on.

If you need a three-way switch installed or a wall outlet replaced, follow these steps when doing it yourself. If you run into any issues or need an electrician to walk you through this process, call Smith Electric and Associates.

Smith Electric & Associates is located in Mobile, Alabama. We are licensed to operate in Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, and Georgia and have been proudly serving the Gulf Coast since 1992. Call us for 24-hour emergency service at 251-471-4723! Visit us online at and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter!