I have a light switch in a weird place in my house. I'd like to remove the light switch itself and just wire it permanently on and cover it with a flat faceplate. I'd ideally like to actually leave it there for future owners of the house. I have the blank faceplate light switch

Here's the tools I have. I think I have everything I need. The question is, aside from shutting off the power I am lost at what do I do to turn the switch permanently on.

Tools for Reference: enter image description here

Edit: behind the light switch images: enter image description here enter image description here

So there's 3 wires behind the switch.

Edit 2: I was wrong about where the wires connected: enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

EDIT Completed JOB: enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

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    Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. Would you post a picture of the wiring behind the switch? Just pull the switch out; don't disconnect any of the wires. – Daniel Griscom Mar 10 '19 at 20:44
  • Can you post photos of the existing wiring in the switch box? – ThreePhaseEel Mar 10 '19 at 21:40
  • Are there three insulated wires connected to the switch? Is this one of a pair of switches either one of which can switch the light on or switch it off? – Jim Stewart Mar 10 '19 at 23:41
  • There's 3 wires, a red and black on the right side, and then another black on that's covered in paint on the left side. – Dan Siegel Mar 11 '19 at 0:38
  • This doesn't answer your question, but if you just want to keep the switch from being inadvertently turned off, you could keep the switch as-is,but add a light switch guard to keep it from being switched accidentally (it's open on the side so you can switch it if you really want to) – Johnny Mar 11 '19 at 19:30

In order to wire this switch as "always on", all three wires should be removed from the switch and bundled together with a wire nut.

The three wires is a bit non-standard and might lead you to believe this is a 3-way switch or some other kind of odd arrangement, but someone has used the stab connector and the screw on the top of this standard switch to tie those two wires together. If this switch only controls one light then one of the top wires is the power coming in, the other top wire is going on to another switch or outlet, and the bottom single wire is what provides power to your light.

If you wanted the switch to be "always off" the top two wires should be connected with a wire nut and the bottom wire would be capped off. For always on, bundle all three wires.

To release the wires from the stab connectors, there is a slot that you can fit a small screw driver in to push open the connector.

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  • You don't necessarily want to connect all three wires that were connected to the switch. The two wires on the same side should be connected (assuming this is a standard simple switch), but the third wire may be a ground. You would not want to connect a hot or a switched hot to a ground. You should find out what the function of the 3rd wire is before you decide what to do with it. – Jim Stewart Mar 11 '19 at 18:19
  • I think it's pretty safe bet that the bottom black wire is going into the stab connector on the back. In the last picture you can barley see the outline of the texture covered wire curving into the back of the switch. Also, if it's not going into the stab connector, then why is there no wire on the bottom screw? And if someone cared enough to ground a switch, they'd use a proper ground wire - most that I see are not grounded at all. – JPhi1618 Mar 11 '19 at 18:26
  • Would another picture be helpful? – Dan Siegel Mar 11 '19 at 18:38
  • A picture of the back of the switch would clear up any remaining questions. Seeing where all three wires are attached is what Jim is questioning. – JPhi1618 Mar 11 '19 at 18:39
  • turns out I was wrong about where the 3rd wire connected. They're all connected on the right. I updated and added a new image. – Dan Siegel Mar 11 '19 at 18:54
  1. Turn off power at breaker
  2. Cut black and red wires conected to switch, or unwire them.
  3. Strip according to strip gauge and wire-nut them together, cover with electrical tape.
  4. Put back in box.
  5. Attach faceplate
  6. Turn power back on.
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  • 2
    Process is correct except wires should be detached from existing switch by unscrewing or pulling out of backstabs, NOT by cutting. Only cut the wires if there is no alternative. Also, electrical tape should not be necessary for two wires connected with a wire nut, though it won't hurt. – manassehkatz-Moving 2 Codidact Mar 10 '19 at 21:48
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    Well, if electrical tape is required to keep the wire nut from falling off, then the wire nut is a bad connection that will fail ugly. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Mar 10 '19 at 22:59
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    Your 3rd wire is either a hot, or a mis-wired neutral. It looks as though you have a 3-way switch. Another switch somewhere in that circuit that controls the same light? 3-way would mean you have a traveler, hot and switched hot. You might need to do a little more wire changes if this is the case, at the other switch and the light. – Jeff Cates Mar 11 '19 at 2:00
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    @JeffCates I also thought "must be a 3-way because of the extra wire" except that it has OFF embossed on the switch which would not belong on a 3-way switch because "OFF" is not always the same direction. – manassehkatz-Moving 2 Codidact Mar 11 '19 at 3:48
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    @manassehkatz so the 3rd wire must be connected to the grounding terminal? Did someone use a piece of insulated wire as a pigtail to connect the ground wire to the grounding terminal? If this is the only switch for an outlet, then if it is removed it will be always on. Is this what is wanted? Will it be a code violation? (If this is a receptacle that is switched, is it the only wall switch at the entrance to a room capable of controlling a light? – Jim Stewart Mar 11 '19 at 12:41

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