Electrical Wiring in the Home/replacing my light switch


I replaced a couple light switches in our kitchen.  I just want to run a couple things by you and make sure my work was acceptable.

First of all, the previous owner installed backsplash, and the switches were not flush with the wall.  I put a new switch on, and I shimmed the switch with small nuts and longer screws until it was flush and the face plate installed correctly.  Is this ok to do?  It looked pretty good to me, and everything lined up great.

Also, on another switch, I noticed those square things that resemble lock washers were missing from the switch screws that go into the box.  Am I correct that those are lock washer or lock nuts, and that not having them could result in those screws coming loose?  Should I put some on, or just leave it?


If the splash is tile and its cemented right to the wall you should be fine just make sure the switches are wrapped with plastic tape over the terminals. The tile effectively becomes an extension of the box. If its a plywood or flake board splash then you have to use metal or plastic  extension sleeves. Tile won't burn in the event of a bad connection on the switch terminal however wood will. The sleeve insulates the device from the wood. Make sure you use ground wires to ground the switches to the box if its metal or if its plastic to the bare ground wire in the box.

Those thin "square things" retain the screws on the device and thats all they are intened for. So you can let it be.

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Licensed Master Electrician (32 years) 6165B Contractor in Closter New Jersey with 40 years total experience in Residential - Commercial - Industrial work. Emergency Service - General trouble shooting and repair work - ONAN & GENERAC generator installation - Paddle fans - Kitchen & Bath exhaust fans - AC lines - Smoke detectors - Telephone lines - Cable TV lines - Computer network cabling - Exterior lighting - Recessed lighting - Security lighting - (200 - 150 - 100 amp service up grades) - Electric Heat - New circuits - New appliance hook ups - and more ! FREE ESTIMATES 201-358-1552 Fully Insured


Licensed contractor in Closter New Jersey.

"The Frank Williams School of Electrical Construction". My dear old boss is 100 ! and still going God Bless him. I started working for "Tenafly Electric" right out of high school at 19. He was tough but I learned more working for him in 8 and half years than most guys. We did mostly industrial work while doing some commercial and residential so I was fortunate to be exposed to all 3 areas of electrical construction. The guys I worked with were all good guys and I stay in touch with some of them still. Most of us went into our own buisness's which says something about the caliber of the guys I worked with. We had some interesting clients : Wella Corp. of shampoo fame, Farah Fawcett etc, I didn't buy shampoo for 10 years. It was a great place to work. Pan Am the former airline just before they went under, another great place to work, nice clean environment. C&C Metals, the largest button manufacturer in the US at that time, a not so clean environment but a very interesting place to work, lots of machine's cranking out buttons of all kinds but you had to be on your toes, it was a potentially dangerous place to be . All kinds of action going on around you.

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