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An electrical wall switch allows you to control the flow of electricity from a power source to one or more permanent light fixtures or wall outlets in your home.wall switch By "closing" the circuit, it enables current to flow to and energize those fixtures or outlets; by "opening" the circuit, it interrupts current flow and prevents those fixtures or outlets from receiving a charge.
A basic wall switch is the familiar toggle device you've seen in homes for years, sometimes called a flip switch or just a "switch.wall switch " It is installed in an electrical outlet box mounted in your wall, and is used to turn lights on and off or to vary the intensity of those lights. Some newer switches have built-in dimmer controls that allow you to adjust the brightness of your lighting.
The switch is a rectangular hard vinyl plastic unit that contains two or more wire connection terminals for connecting the electrical conductors to the switch.wall switch Those wires may come from the power source through a breaker box in your home's service panel, or they may run directly to the light fixture. In either case, the two or more insulated wires that run to the switch must be connected to its screw terminals for it to work.
Inside the switch body is an inner gateway that opens and closes when the switch lever is flipped from one position to another. The two runner terminals on the bottom of the switch (or the "common" terminal) line up internally, creating a continuous pathway of electricity from the breaker box to the light fixture. When the switch is in its "on" position, the common wire connects to the runner terminals; when the switch is in its "off" position, the common wire disconnects from the runner terminals.
Connecting the wires to your new switch involves removing the existing switch from the electrical box, turning off the power at the breaker, and unscrewing the old switch's cover. If you're not sure the power is completely off, use a voltage tester to make sure it is before proceeding with any other tasks in the room. Once the switch is removed, carefully mark the location of each wire in the switch's terminal screws on its backside so you can replace them when you reinstall the switch.
Connect the black wire to the black terminal on your new switch, and the white wire to the white terminal. Then connect the red wire to a terminal on the top side of your new switch, either the left or the right upper terminal (it doesn't matter which). Once all the connections are made, shut off the power at the breaker, screw on the new switch cover and the switch plate, and test the new switch by flipping it on and off or dimming it to see that the light comes on when you activate the switch. If it doesn't, turn the breaker back on, inspect and repair any loose connections, and try again.