How to Remove a Three-Way Electrical Wall Switch

When remodeling or redecorating, you may find that you have a three-way wall switch that you no longer need. When you decide to take out the switch, you need to first follow some basic safety instructions. Once you have removed the switch you can either wire in a simple switch, cover the outlet hole with a solid switch plate or fill in the hole entirely.

How to take out that old three-way switch outlet

Things You'll Need

  • Voltmeter

  • Phillips head screwdriver

  • Wire nuts

Step 1

Turn off the power to the outlet at the fuse box or breaker panel.

Step 2

Unscrew the switch plate cover. Use the voltmeter to test that the power is actually off at the outlet. Touch the positive probe to the white wire and the negative probe to the black wire. Reverse the connections and test again to be certain there is no current.

Step 3

Remove the switch from the switch box. Unscrew the screws holding the wires in place on the switch. If you may possibly use the wires again in the future, label the wires with a piece of masking tape and a pencil.

Step 4

Screw the wire nuts onto the ends of the wires unless you want a single switch in this location. If so, wire the new switch by screwing the wires down to the correct terminals.

Step 5

Save or dispose of the old switch. Replace the switch plate cover or patch the hole if you want to remove the outlet entirely.

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