How Do I Move a Light Switch?

To move a light switch, disconnect the power, remove the cover plate, unscrew the switch from the electrical box, detach the terminal wires from the switch, cut an opening in the wall, insert a new electrical box, and reinstall the switch. Reconnect the power, and test the switch.

  1. Uninstall the switch

    Switch off the circuit breaker that supplies power to the switch, unscrew and remove the cover plate from the switch box, undo the screws that attach the switch to the electrical box, then pull the switch from the box. Note how the switch is wired, loosen the screws that secure the wires to the terminals, and pull out the wires from the switch.

  2. Cut the electrical box opening

    Point the screwdriver to the knockout tab, and hit the screwdriver with a hammer to remove the tab from the electrical box. Run the screwdriver through the hole left by the tab, hold the screw against the wall, and hit it again with a hammer to mark the opening in the wall. Place the new electrical box against the mark, draw around the box edges with a pencil, and then cut and remove the mass inside the rectangle.

  3. Reinstall the switch

    Place the new electrical box in the cut hole, and secure the box to the wall stud with nails. Screw each wire to its respective terminal, attach the switch onto the box, replace the switch cover, and then switch on the breaker to test the switch.