How to Replace a Light Switch With a Z-Wave Switch

Replacing a light switch can be easily done. However, the most important thing to keep in mind whenever working with electricity is the safety measures that one has to ensure before the replacement Wire Pull Tester.

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First and foremost, one has to ensure that there is no power to the switch at the main circuit box. Electrical panels are usually labeled according to their corresponding rooms and light switch. If there are no labels indicating breaker function, ask for somebody’s assistance to determine that it is indeed the right control to the switch to be replaced by signaling when the switch no longer has power as indicated by a light-up power meter or multi-meter. It is also advisable to put a sign that says “Work in Progress” to make certain that no one turns the power back on while the replacement is happening (more necessary in situations with multiple residents).

After making certain that it is safe to proceed, remove the two screws holding the cover plate with a screwdriver. The cover plate is the piece of metal or plastic covering the switch. Afterward, remove the mounting screws holding the switch in place. Pull the switch out of the wall far enough to expose the wires behind it. Verify if the new Z wave light switch is the right type of switch for replacement.

Again as a safety measure, it is necessary to use a voltage tester to ensure that there is no current between any of the wires and ground. After ensuring that there is no current between the wires, remove the screws holding the two wires coming out of the wall to the switch. Before doing so, label the wires according to the screws they were attached to so you would know which wire goes where, when you replace it with the Z wave switch.

Place the Z wave switch next to the old switch and attach the wires to the screws of the Z wave switch according to the labels you made earlier. The key will be to correctly identify neutral and hot as the switch requires the proper connections to power the RF communications in the device. Note that some Z-wave switches do not require a neutral wire to function, which is unique to home automation devices in this space. Put in place the new Z wave switch into the wall by securing it with the mounting screws. After doing so, replace the cover plate. Make sure that everything’s is intact before tuning on the power.

When you’ve placed everything in order, turn the main power. If the breaker pops or the fuse blows at this point, there is a mistake in the replacement. Re-check all your wire nuts and ensure that the hot and neutral were not reversed. If there is still doubt and the switch does not function, it may be best to contact a professional electrician.

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