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Change light switch or plug covers

If your home still have dated metal light switch or plug covers, perhaps it's time to update these to modern light switch or plug covers.


Pop into your local Builders store and you will find a selection of modern light switch and plug outlet covers for your home. These modern designs are easy to fit and all you need to do is SWITCH OFF the main trip switch on your distribution board, and DOUBLE CHECK that the power is off before you get started. 





I'm busy decorating my spare room, so the ugly metal covers have already been removed from the plug outlets and light switches. It is easier to remove these when painting walls than to just cover with masking tape. Once you remove the covers you should see the metal cover plate shown above and below.

1. Unscrew the metal cover plate to reveal the wiring behind the plate (in the wall).

2. After removing the cover plate on a plug outlet you will find [3] wires: red (LIVE), black (NEUTRAL) and a copper (EARTH) wire. On this plug outlet there is a loop wire from the switch to where the plug socket is wired up. This is no longer applicable on newer plugs.

3. Loosen the screw in order to remove all the wires.

4. Before wiring up the new plug covers, use a pair of pliers to twist the end of all [3] wires.

GOOD TO KNOW: New plug outlet covers are clearly labelled as L (LIVE), N (NEUTRAL), and the universal symbol for earth, shown below.

5. Starting with the copper (EARTH) wire, place this in the earth slot and tighten firmly in place.

6. Repeat the process for the red (LIVE) wire...

7. And again for the black (NEUTRAL) wire.

GOOD TO KNOW: Double check that all the wires are firmly in the connectors.

8. Carefully push the wires back into the junction box.

9. Screw the new cover in place.

You can use the same process for changing a light switch cover.

1. In this instance, after removing the cover plate on a light switch outlet I found [2] wires: red (LIVE), blue (NEUTRAL). The blue wire is serving as a neutral wire, which is normally black.

2. Remove the wires from the old light switch and re-wire these onto the new light switch. Double check that the wires are firmly fastened into the connector.

3. Screw the new light switch cover in place.