I have a few of these old school light switches in my current accommodation:

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I now need to replace one because it is not working anymore so I'm trying to uninstall it from the wall. Alas, I'm not having any success. The visible screws give access to the wiring inside but not too the wall fasteners.

enter image description here

The threaded bars do not have a head I can use to unscrew them. There seems to be a nut buried here

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But I cannot access it as there's little space available. I can fit a 5mm hex socket in the hole but the nut is bigger than 5mm.

Do I need a special tool for the job? How can I uninstall this old school light switch from the wall?

  • A nut driver might work to undo the nut. Jan 10, 2020 at 18:05

2 Answers 2


The middle image clearly shows a nut at the bottom of the recess or hole.

Get some deep thin wall sockets and it should come undone easily.

Or undo the flathead screws and make the wires safe then break the base. Then remove or grind down the threads...

  • A 5mm socket fits but the nut is bigger than 5mm. Any larger socket will not to in the hole.
    – JoErNanO
    Jan 10, 2020 at 18:15
  • 1
    The key words in this answer are "thin wall". They're a special tool that you may not have in your kit. I'd try JACK's suggestion of a needle-nose pliers, though. Some penetrating lubricant may help.
    – isherwood
    Jan 10, 2020 at 18:34
  • @JoErNanO Yeah, you'll need a special thin-wall socket. The random mechanic's socket may not cut the mustard. Jan 10, 2020 at 21:03
  • My deep sockets have always worked well - got them from SnapOn (too many decades ago...) you probably need to get a bank loan now but they do last...
    – Solar Mike
    Jan 10, 2020 at 21:11

You're going to need a deep socket or maybe a needle nosed pliers.

  • For the threaded bar or the nut?
    – JoErNanO
    Jan 10, 2020 at 18:46
  • @JoErNanO For the nut.
    – JACK
    Jan 10, 2020 at 18:55

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