How To Replace A Garage Door Wall Switch

If the light on your garage door opener isn't working properly, check the wall switch. The wall switch activates the light on the garage door opener, which raises or lowers the door. A wall switch can easily be replaced by a beginning DIY enthusiast. Here are some tips to replace a garage door wall switch.

Prepare to Work

For this project, you need:

  • work gloves
  • step-ladder
  • non-contact voltage tester
  • multimeter with continuity 
  • Phillips screwdriver or slotted screwdriver
  • flathead screwdriver (optional)
  • 22-gauge bell wires (optional)
  • hammer (optional)
  • insulated staples  (optional)
  • wire strippers

Set a step-ladder to reach the outlet in the ceiling for the opener cord, and disconnect it. If the garage door opener is hard-wired, turn it off from the breaker box. Run a non-contact voltage tester over the wall switch to ensure no current is present.

Remove the Old Wall Switch

Look for the bell wire that connects the switch to the wall. Loosen the mounting screws of the wall switch with a screwdriver, and pull it from the wall to access the bell wire. Remove the screws on each side of the wire with the Phillips screwdriver or slotted screwdriver.

If the screws have a cover, remove it by inserting a flathead screwdriver between the wall control and cover to get the cover off. Save the screws, since the replacement wall switches may not come with screws. Gently pull the two bell wires from the terminals, and remove the switch from the wall.

Test the bell wires for continuity with the multimeter. Connect each wire to a lead of the multimeter that is set to test continuity. If you get a beep, it means the wires are working properly. If you don't get a beep, replace the wires.

Strip about one-fourth inch of insulation from the new wires, and insert the wires between the opener and the switch. Tack insulated staples to the wires, then hammer the staples to secure them in the wires.

Install the New Wall Switch

Bend the wires to make a "U" so they will fit around the terminal screws. Attach the red and white wires to the screws of the same color.

Set the new wall switch in place of the old one. Attach the bottom slot of the switch on the bottom mounting screw, move the switch down until it locks in place, then attach the top mounting screw.

Restore the power to the garage door opener and test the replacement. If the new wall switch doesn't work, or you don't trust your skill, contact a garage door installation service.