How to Wire a Push Button

Written by jonra springs
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How to Wire a Push Button
What does this button do? (thumb pushing a button. image by Steve Johnson from

A simple push button switch such as a doorbell button is a momentary switch that makes a connection in a wire carrying power to a device. When the button is released, the wire is not connected and power flow is interrupted. A push button starter also uses a momentary switch that sends a quick surge of power to turn a starter motor. Microswitch push buttons work as on/off switches that make a connection and hold it until the button is pressed a second time. Any of these types make a single connection in a power wire. Each of these buttons has only two wire connections.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Wire cutters
  • Slotted screwdriver
  • Soldering iron
  • Solder

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    Wire a Push Button Momentary Switch

  1. 1

    Cut power to the circuit containing the device with the breaker switch. Shut off the main power breaker switch if correct breaker is not labelled. Label or lock the breaker box to prevent anyone from restoring power during work.

  2. 2

    Strip 1/2 inch of insulation off the ends of the two wires to be connected to the push button with wire cutters. One wire will come from the electrical source, such as the transformer for a doorbell. The other wire is connected to the power terminal on the device, such as the ringer of a doorbell.

  3. 3

    Wrap one of the exposed wires around either of the terminal screws in clockwise rotation. Tighten the terminal screw with a slotted screwdriver.

  4. 4

    Wind the other wire around the remaining screw terminal with clockwise turns. Secure its terminal screw. Mount the button securely with the terminals enclosed, restore power and test the push button momentary switch by pressing it repeatedly.

    Wire a Push Button Microswitch

  1. 1

    Shut off the power to a device that is wired to a house circuit with the breaker switch. Use the main power breaker if the controlling breaker is not labelled. Unplug the power cord to a device that is not hard-wired to the home.

  2. 2

    Strip the ends of the wires to be connected with wire cutters to reveal 1/4 inch of bare wire. One wire will connect to the incoming power supply and the other to the circuits in the device.

  3. 3

    Choose between the NO and NC terminals to distinguish between having the device on until the button is pressed or off until the button gets pushed. The NO, or normally open terminal, is for most devices, which remain off until a user pushes the button to turn them on. Appliances that should remain on use the NC, or normally closed terminal, which allows users to shut them off with the button.

  4. 4

    Thread one wire through the hole in the terminal marked "NO" or the terminal marked "NC." Curl the wire around the terminal, then twist the end around the exposed wire near the insulation.

  5. 5

    Thread the other wire through the slot on the lower terminal marked "Common." Wrap the wire around the terminal as in step 5.

  6. 6

    Plug in a soldering iron and allow 5 minutes for the tip to heat. Hold solder over a terminal and touch the tip of the soldering iron against the solder to melt it over the connection. Cover all exposed wire with solder. Secure the other terminal connection with solder in the same way.

  7. 7

    Mount the push button switch in the device it controls with the terminals covered before plugging it in or turning on power at the breaker switch. Test the button to see that it turns the appliance on and off or off and on when pressed.

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