Replacing old plastic light switch with chrome

Discussion in 'Getting Started FAQ' started by Dan260599, Oct 31, 2018.

  1. Dan260599

    Dan260599 New Member

    Hi, any help much appreciated!

    I have recently moved into a 10 year old property and begun the arduous task of replacing the nasty plastic sockets and switches.
    The downstairs ones were done a few weeks ago but, now I have moved into the hallway, things appear to be getting a bit trickier.
    The switch that I am attempting to replace is a double switch. Switch 1 is used one way, for the outside light. Switch 2 controls the hall light, the first floor landing light, and the second floor landing light. There are switches on floors one and two that also control the three lights.
    There are three lines into the back box that are configured, as follows;
    1. Brown to L1 on switch 1
    Blue to connector strip
    Earth to back box
    2. Red to L2 on switch 2
    Blue to L3 on switch 2
    Yellow (with brown tape) to L1 on switch 2
    3. Brown to L2 on switch 1
    Blue to same connector strip
    Earth to back box

    Please could anybody make some sense of this and advise what needs to go where in the new switch?! As you would expect, the new switches are labelled L1, L2 and COM.

    Many thanks

  2. Pollowick

    Pollowick Well-Known Member

    Fairly easy to understand however, before you do anything - take pictures or the old (still wired) and new. And post those here so anyone advising will know exactly what is what.
  3. dobbie

    dobbie Well-Known Member

    Switch 1 the brown in L1 goes to com in new switch and the brown in L2 goes to L1 in new switch.Which is the normal configuration for most plate switches.

    Switch 2 yellow with tape to Com,red to L1 and blue to L2,put brown tape round these.

    For the house being 10 years old, looks like someone was using up old cable, which they shouldnt have done on a new build.
  4. dobbie

    dobbie Well-Known Member

    Remember and earth the switches,if it is a dry lining box run the wires straight to the terminal on the switch,if it is a metal box also run one from the switch to the box.
  5. Dan260599

    Dan260599 New Member

    Hi dobbie,

    Many thanks for your reply. Just to double check everything; I assume that I should leave the two earths connected to the (metal) back box, and the two neutrals in the connector strip - i.e. leave them as they are?
    And, the supplementary earth goes from the back box to where on the new switch, please....?


  6. terrymac

    terrymac Well-Known Member

    The earth conductors go to the earth terminal on the switch. If the galvanised steel back box has a fixed lug there is no regulatory requirement to now have a flying earth link to the back box ,as the metal screws that hold the switch to the metal box provide earth continuity ,but it will do no harm to add one. The neutrals do not connect to the switch and stay as they are.
  7. dobbie

    dobbie Well-Known Member

    If the swithes are metal there should be an earth terminal on them.It is always best practice to have the back box earthed.
  8. Dan260599

    Dan260599 New Member

    Oops! Had a bit of a brain freeze on my last question there. It had been a long day....
    All done and working fine. Many, many thanks for everyone’s help

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