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Updating electrical switches

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by andy t, Sep 10, 2019.

  1. andy t

    andy t NES Member

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    Right now I have simple $0.5 single/double pole flip up/down electrical switches. I am thinking of updating them to something new. Doesn't have to be smart, but look newer - possibly a flat switch. Any suggestions or just pick one with decent reviews from Amazon?
     
  2. xjma99

    xjma99 NES Member

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    Friends don’t let friends install decora style switches.

    Go to electrical supply house.
     
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  3. new guy

    new guy NES Member

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    Love my decora style switches. So much easier to use (with a hand, elbow, shoulder, forehead, etc.) than the ones that look like little penises. Why not use them?

    Man I hope you don't have a compelling answer because I don't feel like doing my whole house over again. [laugh]
     
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  4. qqac

    qqac

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    I love those flat Leviton Decora switches. No problems at all, and they make the house look 1000% better compared to old toggle switches.
     
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  5. sieveboy

    sieveboy NES Member

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    Decora = Addictive
     
  6. LoginName

    LoginName NES Member

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    Keep your current switches... buy new switch plates...

    b0721e024c0b3ad5b885c74c0838c9c5.jpg

    cb2257c9190b3d98b6fc5c1f1b32f78e.jpg
     
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  7. Dennis in MA

    Dennis in MA NES Member

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    Always stand in a bucket of water and be sure to grab both sides of the switch to hold it securely. ;)

    Swapping out a switch is so easy I can do it. Just don't think. Swap the wires exactly the same - like you're changing the plug wires on your car. One time I pulled it apart and said, "this must be wired wrong." So I reconfigured it. Shockingly (no pun intended), it didn't work. LOL. Put it back - BAM! Light worked! Clearly I had no idea which was the hot and which was going to the fixture. LOL
     
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  8. radioman

    radioman NES Member

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    I love 1st world problems!

    If you ever wonder why most of the
    planet hates us? Read this thread.
     
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  9. 1903Collector

    1903Collector NES Member

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    Go to Home Depot or Lowe's, get a box of 10 for like $15-$20 bucks. Home Depot sells Leviton and Lowes sells Hubble I think, both are good. Three way's are a bit more.
     
  10. Dennis in MA

    Dennis in MA NES Member

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    And if red-blooded Americans didn't dispose of things as often as they did, a greater % of those 3rd-world countries would be more hell-holier than they currently are. As much as you might hate King Consumer, without him consuming, NO ONE eats.
     
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  11. radioman

    radioman NES Member

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    True.

    No argument here.
     
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  12. new guy

    new guy NES Member

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    I thought this until I realized that half of the boxes/wires in my house weren't a direct match with what I was swapping in. I figured it out though. No fires yet, and I discovered a new hobby (wiring) in the process!
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2019
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  13. JDL

    JDL NES Member

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    Once you replace all the switches you will.have to replace all.the outlets to match . This project will seem to go on forever. Stop now in the
    thinking/planning stage . Save your self some money and wasted time and don't try to fix something that isent broken .
     
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  14. new guy

    new guy NES Member

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    Meh. It's a cheap and easy DIY update to your house that you can do a room at a time in your free time. Those old style penis switches look older and more antiquated by the year. Besides, happy wife... :)
     
  15. JDL

    JDL NES Member

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    I understand nothing more to say just do it .
     
  16. PaulR

    PaulR NES Member

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    Thread Hijack: Can a non-electrician type easily install motion sensing switches in place of the old toggles? Thanks.
     
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  17. GomerPile

    GomerPile NES Member

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    Should I get a permit before installing my new switches?
     
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  18. qqac

    qqac

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    It depends . . . on your abilities as a non-electrician, existing wiring conditions, etc. Motion sensing switches typically will require a ground wire to work.
     
  19. Garys

    Garys NES Member

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    I did this over the course of several months, although I think there are still a couple of little used ones that I missed. I also spent about three hours mapping out what each of the circuit breakers controls. No more flipping switches until the right lights go out. In the process, I discovered that I have one circuit breaker that apparently does nothing. Well it works, but I don't know that there is anything on it.

     
  20. bauer

    bauer NES Member

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    Isn’t that the truth
     
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  21. AHM

    AHM NES Member

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    Only On NES Dept.​
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Switch, shovel, shut up.
     
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  22. mac1911

    mac1911 NES Member

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    I been updating my switches and receptacles room by room over the years.
    Few tips: make sure by all the switch/receptacles/cover plates you need plus extra. I did a few rooms and then a few years later I could not find the same style and also the white was not the same white anymore.
    I believe I went with leviton? Although I bought ones that both physically felt and looked better constructed.

    I also recommend a tester both a “wiggy” type (thats what my dad called the basic tester) and one of these.
    I was having odd issues and found some sketchy wire work along with a live wire going no where just tossed up on the drop ceiling stuffed in a recess.
    Fun stuff. One of these helped me find several problems

    View: https://youtu.be/AvLf-xPCg-U
     
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  23. sbi

    sbi NES Member

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    Tell this to the idiot electrical inspector in Waltham who insisted I get my electrician to replace a standard receptacle with a GFCI one for the hood (way more than 6 ft from the sink, as the law says; he just woke up that morning decided to make someone's life harder) or else he would not sign my permit (even though homeowners are allowed to do electrical work in MA per the state chief electrical inspector). I hate government dickheads.
     
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  24. drgrant

    drgrant Moderator NES Member

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    IMHO get the leviton commercial grade decoras, they don't cost much more money than the flint ones and maybe its my imagination but they seem more robust than the
    cheap ones, assuming they still have distinct product lines.

    -Mike
     
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  25. Spanz

    Spanz NES Member

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    Nikola Tesla invented a way to send electrical power thru the air without the need for any stinkin' wires.
    be like Tesla.
     
  26. LuvToGoFast

    LuvToGoFast NES Member

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    rcwhat and Igotid like this.
  27. TC McQuade

    TC McQuade NES Member

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    I read that as saying easily install motion sensing switches in place of old toilets. And couldn't figure out what you were talking about. Oh well now I get it.


    Maybe that's why i shouldn't replace switches
     
  28. Sparkey

    Sparkey NES Member

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    I like the decora style switches I prefer pass and Seymour.
     
  29. Uzi2

    Uzi2 NES Member

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    No shit, half the planet doesn't know what electricity or an electrical switch is.[thumbsup]
     
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  30. drgrant

    drgrant Moderator NES Member

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    Another fun thing that I like to use.... get a voltage detector (one of those things that buzzes when its near high voltage AC) test it before each use (hold it near a live circuit or even a lamp cord and make sure it sounds) and know how to use it. Even though you think you've shut off the mains, you can use it to verify "yes this circuit is actually not hot anymore". It's easy to get confused, flick a wrong breaker, or think that you flipped the right one and something is still hot, etc. It's a cheap safety tool. And always test it before use... if left idle long enough, the batteries can die and they'll stop chirping.

    -Mike
     
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