Switchplate Help

 

Configuration & Sizes 

Installation

Switch Plates

•  GFI Rocker Decora •  Matching Screws  •  Cleaning Switch Plates
•  Odd Configurations •  Screws not lining up •  Defective Item
•  Custom Orders •  Screws too long •  Variation in Color / Finish
•  Oversize •  Screws too short •  Made to Order items
•  Switch is on wrong side   •  Switchplate does not lie flush against wall  
     

 

Configuration - Sizes

GFI Rocker
Yes, we have them. The electrical industry standardized many types of switches, outlets and other controls to fit the modern 1.25"w x 2.5"h rectangular opening. They are known by many names...rocker switches, paddle, GFI, GFCI outlets, or Decora©.

Our GFI Rocker size fits a multitude of different types of switches, outlets, lighting controls, home automation components, telephone devices and more. Many newer homes have Decora© products. While we have no affiliation with Leviton products, our switch plates will fit their Decora© electrical devices.

We have an array of designs available from single gang GFI Rockers up to 6 gang GFI Rockers. To see your many GFI Rocker choices, simply click on "Configurations" in the gray bar at the top of the page and select the size you need.

One of the more popular uses for the GFI Rocker is for the GFCI or Ground Fault Circuit interrupter -- the outlet that has the test button in the middle. Cable TV and telephone jacks can be fitted for GFI Rocker switch plates. In fact, just about every standard switch is now made for the wide opening. To see the many electrical devices that use the GFI Rocker configuration, please click on "Electrical Device" on the top gray bar.

Odd Configurations
Switch Hits carries all the standard sizes. We still can't understand how some homeowners and professionals alike come up with some of the crazy combinations of switches, duplex outlets and Decora© devices we have seen. In most instances, we can help with weird and highly unusual setups...other times, well, we'll have to see. Contact Switch Hits with a complete layout of your electrical devices...or better yet, send a picture of your odd configuration and we'll do our best to solve your dilemma.

Odd Configuration Suggestion
For really crazy combinations, it's highly unlikely you'll find a standard switchplate. Sorry, but our artists and manufacturers do not do any custom work.

A rather simple solution is to either change the arrangement of your existing electrical devices, or replace one of your switches or outlets with a new device that has the same function but a different shape. For the most part, it's a few screws, a few wires, and you're all set. Once you get a standard configuration, you'll have hundreds of design choices. If not a standard layout, your choices are very limited.

Check out our Electrical Devices and see how the same device can come in the shape of either a Duplex or a Decora. Hence, a simple substitution will give you a much wider selection of design choices.

Custom Orders
Sorry, we are unable to take special orders. Switch Hits represents hundreds of artists and manufacturers who each determine the designs and sizes they offer. And if they make it, Switch Hits will carry it and showcase it. Therefore, if you don't see a size offered for a design you like, it is not available. Nor will the artist accept any special orders.

Made to Order 
Some items that we offer have many different sizes and configurations available and are made to order. However, made to order items are NOT custom orders. Our artists and manufacturers do not deviate from the colors and configurations that are showcased on our web site.

Oversize
We have many oversize switchplates to cover oversize holes.  Please use our Oversize tool which is linked in the top menu bar of every page.

Flippable Switch Plates
Many of our switchplate designs feature combination switch plates that can be “flipped” or rotated 180°. These switchplates are marked with the double arrows symbol. So, if you have a hardware configuration that you can't seem to find a switchplate for, first check whether one of our existing configurations can be flipped around to accommodate your hardware. (You can determine this by standing on your head, tilting your head to the side so the hardware is upside down, or, as we'd recommend, just flipping the switchplate in your imagination to determine if you have a good fit.) Many times flipping the switchplate will solve your problem. If a particular combination switchplate isn't marked with a double arrows image, the design on the switchplate would be wrong if flipped - you wouldn't want birds flying upside down or animals walking on the sky, would you?

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Installation

Matching Screws
We include #6-32 size screws for all switchplates. Since screws only come in a limited number of colors and our switchplates come in thousands of colors, exactly matching screws is not possible.

The nylon screws we include can be easily "painted" with magic marker, nail polish, etc. Realistically, the color does not have to be exact. Since the proportion of the switchplate to the screw is so great, you'll never notice a slight variation for a complimentary color.

Screws Aren't Lining up 
If you find that the screw holes, switches or outlets do not line up with a multiple gang switchplate, there is usually a simple solution.

Switches (not the switchplate) are attached to a rectangular or square box mounted in the wall. With the switchplate removed, you'll notice mounting screws on the top and bottom of the switch for mounting into the electrical box. Loosen the screws just enough so the switch can move back and forth. You'll notice at the top and bottom of each switch there is about 1/4 " of play at each mounting screw. That means, for a double toggle, there is 1/2" of play.

You must be careful not to touch the screws on the sides of switches or outlets. If the power is still live, you can be shocked. If you don't feel comfortable doing this yourself consult an electrician or handyman.

With the screws still loose a tiny bit, place the switchplate over the switches and adjust the switches accordingly so they line up with the switchplate. Start ALL the screws first which continues the lining up process. Tighten the screws like you would a tire on a car — alternate. Remember, some switchplates, though sturdy, may break due to overtightening. Do not overtighten...just firm is good enough.

Screws Are Too Long 
Switch Hits includes the screws provided by the artist or manufacturer. These screws are standard for all electrical hardware by major U.S. manufacturers...Leviton, Hubbell, etc. Occasionally, the 3/4" or 1/2" screws do not screw all the way in for certain brands of switches or outlets.

If the screws provided are nylon, these screws can be easily shortened by cutting them with scissors.

If you need shorter metal screws, please contact Switch Hits and we'll do our best to meet your needs.

Screws Are Too Short
Occasionally, new tile has been added as a backsplash and the construction crew did not adjust the electrical devices accordingly. You may find your switch or outlet inset too far for our standard screws. Just contact our Customer Service Department and we will be happy mail you longer screws.

Switchplate Isn't Flush Against Wall
If your switchplate doesn't lie perfectly flush against the wall, there may – or may not be – a solution.  Please try the following:

Get Your Screwdriver
If there is a gap between the switchplate and the wall, it could be a minor adjustment. With the switchplate removed, you'll notice 2 screws on the switch (or outlet) that screw into the electrical box sitting in the wall. By tightening the top and bottom screws, the switch should sink into the wall further. You want to tighten the switch so the metal braces are at minimum flush with the wall. This will pull the switchplate closer to the wall also and eliminate the gap.

Flat Backs
We have a number of switchplate artists who make their switchplates from a flat piece of stock and the backs are not recessed. If the switch is not sunk into the wall as described above, the screws used to secure the switch to the electrical box may be the cause of this gap. Again, try to tighten the switch into the box so the switch's screws are at least flush with the wall.

Bad Electrician
Not to pass blame, but we do find far too many customers whose electricians did not install the electrical boxes deep enough for the switch to sit properly. In that case, the flat back plates will not lie flush.

Warped Switchplate
Some of our artists make very unique products...by hand. Sometimes they are not "perfect" as a manufactured plate. We make no excuses for our quest to give you the broadest selection as possible. We consider these crafted imperfections as character.

What to do?
We would suggest try living with it for a while. Enjoy the artistry of the switchplate and you will notice in a short amount of time the gap will "disappear"...the beauty of the switchplate will grow on you and take all the focus. But, if it bothers you, please feel free to return any item according to our Return Instructions.

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Your Switchplate Order

Cleaning Switchplates
As a general rule, a mild dish detergent and water will clean up the majority of your decorative switchplates just nicely. Window cleaner will also work. Most of the brass and other metal switchplates are protected and can be cleaned the same way.

DO NOT ever use abrasive cleaners.

Defective Item
When considering defects, please remember Switch Hits specializes in handcrafted items. Due to the handmade nature of our products, variations in cut, finish, and color are common and should be expected — each switchplate is a unique piece of art. When we expect variation in a particular switchplate line, we do our best to keep the look of the switchplates in your order as consistent as possible.

Some of our artists make very unique products...by hand. Sometimes they are not "perfect" like a manufactured plate. Having a uniform, factory look is not possible for many designs. We make no excuses for our quest to give you the broadest selection as possible. We consider these crafted imperfections as character.

Other solutions

If you're still not happy...
We're happy to accept any returns for any reason. Simply follow our Return Instructions.

Variation in Color/Finish
This is the fine print section of our website. Since the majority of switchplates are handmade, each one should be considered a unique piece of art. Variations in color, finish and size may exist and are characteristic of handmade designs. Like almost anything made with natural elements, color can portray some variations.

Wooden Switchplates
Wood is a natural material, with variations in color, texture and figure. These variations are influenced by the natural growing process and are uncontrollable by the woodworker. The color of wood within a tree varies between the sapwood (the outer layers of the tree which continue to transport sap), which is usually lighter for color than the “heartwood” (the former layers for which the cells have become filled with natural deposits). Various species produce different grain patterns (figures), which influence the selection process. There will be variations of grain patterns within any selected species. The architectural woodworker cannot select solid lumber cuttings within a species by grain and color for the same manner for which veneers may be selected. Color, texture and grain variations will occur in the finest architectural woodworking.
                                             Architectural Woodwork Quality Standards, 7th Edition, Version 1.0, 1997

Brass, Copper, Nickel Switchplates
Metal switchplates that are photo-etched or acid etched all react differently to the process depending on the purity of the metal content. Therefore those that are hand made of metal may have a different finish to them. Again, each one is an individual with its own personality.

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Made-to-Order Items

Why Made to Order?
Though Switch Hits stocks over 240,000 switchplates that are ready to ship, we also offer high-quality made-to-order items that are not kept in stock but crafted once we receive an order for them. Generally, these collections feature hundreds of different pattern, color or size combinations – too many for us to keep in our warehouse .

When Will Made-to-Order Items Ship?
We list all shipping time frames prominently on each item's page, and on the shopping cart confirmation page you see before you place your order. Some artists make and ship made to order items within 1 week while another artist can take up to 8 weeks for his/her handmade, one-of-a-kind pieces. The average is 2-3 weeks, but again, this is listed on the pages for these items.

Made-to-Order items mostly come from small studios where the artists much prefer to work their craft rather than answer shipping questions. (And the more questions we send them, the more they are away from their workbenches!) Therefore we can't be more specific about shipping dates with made-to-order items.

Made-to-Order Return Policy
The great variety and unique nature of our made-to-order items makes reselling particular designs in particular color and size combinations extremely difficult. Therefore, we have established a special made-to-order return policy.

• Based on the craftsmen we work with, some items are NOT RETURNABLE and marked as such on each particular product page.
• All other Made-to-Order items returned will have the following restrictions: A maximum of 2 items of any configuration may be returned with no restocking charge. For larger orders, the two smallest configurations will have no restocking charges...all other returned items will have the following restocking charges less shipping charges.

Restocking Charges for Made to Order Items

$5.00 for these configurations
1 Toggle switchplates  1 Wide switchplates  Duplex Outlet switchplates  1 Blank switchplates  3/8" Cable switchplates
$8.00 for these configurations
2 Toggle switchplates  2 Duplex Outlet switchplates  1 Toggle/Outlet or Outlet/1 Toggle switchplates  1 Wide/Outlet or Outlet/1 Wide switchplates  1 Toggle/Wide or Wide/1 Toggle switchplates  2 Wide switchplates  
$12.00 for these configurations
3 Toggle switchplates  3 Wide switchplates  2 Toggle/Outlet or Outlet/2 Toggle switchplates  2 Toggle/Wide or Wide/2 Toggle switchplates
$18.00 for these configurations
4 Toggle switchplates  4 Wide switchplates  3 Toggle/Outlet or Outlet/3 Toggle switchplates  3 Toggle/Wide or Wide/3 Toggle switchplates
$22.00 for these configurations
5 Toggle switchplates  6 Toggle switchplates  5 Wide switchplates  6 Wide switchplates
Other configurations not pictured subject to appropriate restocking charges.


Return Instructions

Please follow our return instructions when returning your approved made-to-order items.

Our Advice
These Made-to-Order switchplates are so unique and attractive we know you deserve and will like them. Just use a bit of caution when you first order — order one or two of the style and colors you like. When you receive your first shipment and absolutely love them, you can then order for the rest of your home without any trepidation.

Custom vs. Made to Order
Switch Hits carries and stocks many of the odd switchplate configurations needed for new and old houses and commercial buildings. If you email Switch Hits a description or picture of the configuration needed, we can usually come up a solution to your situation.

Sorry, we are unable to take special orders. Switch Hits represents hundreds of artists and manufacturers who each determine the designs and configurations they offer. And if they make it, Switch Hits will carry it and showcase it. Therefore, if you don't see a size offered for a design you like, it is not available. Nor will the artist accept any special orders...sorry.

Some items that we offer have many different sizes and configurations available and are made to order. However, made to order items are NOT custom orders. Our artists and manufacturers have their jigs, designs, and colors all set to go. Sorry, they will not deviate from the colors and configurations that are showcased on our web site.

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