The need to change a light switch can arise at any moment. After the lights are out, you can not wait in the dark if the problem is just a malfunctioning switch.
Replacing an RV switch only needs some basic tools and knowledge about the wiring. But you might hesitate at first if you have not done this kind of job before.
So, if you are not feeling confident, this write-up is for you. It can also help you with your RV light switch upgrade.
Here you will find which wire goes where, the meaning of different colors of wires, how to handle live wires, and obviously, the steps of replacing an RV light switch.
How Do You Know When A Light Switch Is Bad?
If your light switch is not working properly, you may start to notice some strange things happening. The most common signs of a bad light switch include:
- Lights flicker when the switch is on
- Lights turn off and on by themselves
- It becomes difficult to turn the lights on or off (either the switch will stick in one place, or it will be hard to push it in)
- The lights don’t turn on or off at all
- It sparks when you flip it on or off
- It gets too hot and melts the switch plate when you flip it on or off
If you notice any of these signs, it’s time for light switch removal and replacement.
How To Replace Rv Light Switch?
Replacing light switches for RV is a quick, easy job. You can replace your RV light switch by following these 6 easy steps!
Note: This process isn’t just for RV AC lights. It’s also for 12v DC ceiling lights on a wall switch.
Step 1: Locate the light switch you want to replace. Lot of people change the wrong switch on their first try. You can use your RV light switch wiring diagram if it is not clear which one is the correct switch.
Step 2: Next, turn off the breaker to the switch you want to replace. This will ensure that you’re safe as you work. Also, it ensures your electrical system won’t be damaged by any changes you make.
Step 3: Remove RV light switch cover over your current switch and pull it out of its socket. Set aside the cover, which you’ll use later on.
Step 4: Inspect the wires connected to your old light switch.
If you have a single-pole switch with only two wires, simply unscrew them from the old switch and attach them to your new switch. But what if you have a three-way or four-way switch? Or a camper van conversion light switch (similar to a simple on/off switch but with a dimming slider)?
Well, for such complex light switches, you can label the wires, so you’re familiar when attaching them to your new switch. Also, this is a good time to take a picture.
Step 5: Unscrew the wires from your old light switch wires and attach them to the new ones according to their colors and labels. Plus, you can always refer to the photo you took. Red and black are your hot wires, white is neutral, and green is for grounding. And you always have the positive and negative labels to help you.
Step 6: Screw them on tightly, then place the new light switch into its socket and replace the cover over it. Turn on your power and test out your new switch!
Note: When selecting a replacement switch, choose a perfect replica of your old switch. It should be of the same make and model number to ensure compatibility. This is because different brands tend to have different labeling on the terminals. Also, be sure to double-check that the new switch is rated for use in an RV (the packaging should say).
Can you replace the rocker light switch with a toggle switch?
Whether you can replace a rocker switch with a toggle light switch depends on the shape and size of each switch.
You might be able to find some toggle switches that will fit into the same space as your rocker switches. However, you may have to use drywall anchors or other mounting hardware to accommodate a different shape.
For RV rocker light switch replacement, follow these steps:
Step 1: Turn off the power. Safety first!
Step 2: Remove the rocker switch. Do this by unscrewing the screws on either side of the switch, and then pulling it out of the wall.
Step 3: Line up your new toggle switch with the hole you just created when you removed your old rocker switch. Keep in mind that toggle light switches are wider and shorter than rocker switches, so you may need to adjust the width of your hole or install a larger faceplate to accommodate it.
Step 4: Insert the toggle light switch into the wall and screw it in securely. Turn the power back on, and test out your new toggle light switch!
How Do You Change A Light Switch Without Turning Off The Breaker?
We don’t recommend it. But if you insist or it’s the last resort, you can use the following guideline to ensure your safety:
Foremost, ensure the light switch is in the off position. In addition, use insulated tools and gear. For instance, you should wear insulated gloves.
Also, be careful not to touch live wires. Again, disconnect and remove wires one at a time. Do it slowly, keeping them far from each other, or covering the naked end with insulation.
Do You Need An Electrician To Change Light Switches?
Changing light switches is one of those tasks that can be accomplished by anyone who is handy with basic tools. But there are some situations where it’s best to turn to an electrician, especially when dealing with modern light switches and complex wiring.
When to do it yourself
You can change light switches yourself as long as you turn off the power before you start. Once that’s done, it’s just a matter of unscrewing the screws holding in the plate and switch, then removing them from the wall. Once they’re out, you can put in your new switch and plate, attach them to the wall again and connect all of the wires together. Then you just screw it back into place and turn the power back on!
When to bring in a professional
Of course, there are always times when it’s best for an electrician to come to change the light switches.
This is especially the case if you don’t feel comfortable dealing with electricity at all. Also, if your current system doesn’t have ground wires (which will be bare copper), then you should definitely hire someone who knows what they’re doing.
You’ll also want to call an expert when dealing with more modern switches. A good example is when dealing with LED dimmer switches.
How Much Does It Cost To Change The Light Switches?
The cost of changing light switches depends on how many you need and the kind of wiring you have.
Also, it depends on the type of switch. Is it a standard or double light switch?
Moreover, the cost may be higher if they require extra features, such as dimmers and puck lights. Generally, the cost would be $300 on the high end, $60 on the low end, and $150 on average.
Thanks for reading! We hope this guide helped you replace your RV light switch. Now you can upgrade from standard RV dome lights to dimmers without a fuss.
It’s a pretty straightforward process, whether it’s a push button light switch or complex dimmer switches. But if this is too hard for you, don’t fret: there’s no shame in calling in the pros. After all, it’s not worth risking your safety or electrocution trying to fix something if you’re not feeling confident about it.
If you enjoyed this guide, be sure to check out our other guides for RVers on topics like how to read RV monitor panel and more. Let us know in the comments if you have any questions, or if you have any suggestions for future articles.