I was messing around trying to change a light fixture and the circuit breaker for the house tripped open. I reset the circuit breaker, fixed it correctly and everything else is working. But the light switch will not turn off now. It just springs constantly to the on position and there is no click when manually you hold the switch into the off position. I assume it is stuck, is this a job for a total novice when it comes to these things? Any easy answers?

  • I do not understand what you mean by 'the house fused'. – The Evil Greebo Sep 21 '12 at 12:47
  • @TheEvilGreebo The knobs in the fuse box switched off. The knob for that light and the knob for the main electricity – yehuda Sep 21 '12 at 12:51
  • Ok, so you were working on electrical appliances while the power was on. I trust you won't be repeating that mistake... – The Evil Greebo Sep 21 '12 at 12:52
  • @TheEvilGreebo ha ha, no, i turned on the light to see if was fixed and whilst turning it on the house fused and swith got stuck – yehuda Sep 21 '12 at 13:05
  • Well that's good to know at least. – The Evil Greebo Sep 21 '12 at 13:08

The switch was probably damaged by a short circuit caused by wiring your fixture incorrectly.

So - how do you fix?

Step 1: Turn off the fuse/breaker that was blown/tripped when you caused the short

Step 2: Remove the face plate for the broken switch

Step 3: Remove the screws that anchor the switch in the electrical box. Do not remove any wires.

Step 4: Study the switch and make careful note of where each wire connects. The old switch should have markings on it that indicate things like "hot", "neutral" and "ground". Take some sticky labels like mailing labels and write down each connection on a label and stick that label on the wire before you remove it from the switch.

Step 5: After you've labelled all the wires and removed the switch, take it to your local hardware store and buy a replacement.

Step 6: Come home and reconnect the wires exactly as they were before.

Step 7: Mount the switch in the box. Replace the face plate. Turn on the power in the fuse/breaker box.

  • no, i turned on the light to see if was fixed and whilst turning it on the house fused and swith got stuck – yehuda Sep 21 '12 at 13:05
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    Step 0: If you don't know the proper safety procedures, hire an electrician. – BMitch Sep 21 '12 at 13:06
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    +1 I would add Check every wire in the box with a non-contact tester, as a standard precaution for almost all electric work. I realize this is asking a bit from the casual DIYer, but despite years of electric work, I have hit an unchecked live wire and fried a screwdriver, switch, but fortunately, not myself. – bib Sep 21 '12 at 13:06
  • @BMitch what did i do wrong, see diy.stackexchange.com/questions/18274/… – yehuda Sep 21 '12 at 13:08
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    Can't tell what you did wrong on the installation w/o more info. That's a different question. – The Evil Greebo Sep 21 '12 at 13:09

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