Wall switch button repair and replacement

A very common problem with the WS-467 X-10 wall switch is the failure of the pushbutton switch on its front face.  The reason is the simple spring wire that is used as the contact.  Over the years of use, this wire breaks and the switch stops working.

In the past, I have tried to glue new contacts to the end of the switch stem, but this usually does not last very long.

Wall Switch repair
The push button on the wall switch breaks often and is made of springy material.  
Here I replaced it with a metal clip from an old house-unit selector dial.  
It is epoxied on the pushbutton post (7/16).


I decided to repair the problem with a real switch that should last a lot longer and provide tactile feedback when pushed.

To start the repair, dissassemble the switch until you obtain the front plastic cover as shown above.  Next, pull off the rectangular cap that is mounted to the stem on the outside front of the wall switch.  Then on the inside of the cover gently pry off the square tab that surrounds the stem (visible in the image above).  This square tab holds the spring for the pushbutton.  Once you are done, you should have the stem that is shown at the top of the image below.


Parts of the switch mod
Parts for the repair.  The top item is the unmodified push button stem.
The middle item is another stem that was shortened by 3mm.
The switch used is shown on the bottom.

Next you need to obtain a small printed circuit board mount pushbutton similar to the one in the above image.  The one I selected has a footprint size of about 6.2mm x 6.2mm.  The top face of the switch button is 5mm above the mounting board surface (thus the total height of the switch is 5mm).  This type of switch is known as a "Tactile Switch" on the Digikey website.

Next grind down the stem such that the total of the height of the pushbutton plus the segment of the stem marked with the red bar above is 8.5 mm.  In the above case, I shortened the stem so that the red bar portion was 3.5mm.  In addition, it also would be good to grind a taper on the end that pushes the button so that it glides past any guides.

Solder the pushbutton into the circuit board as shown below.  The two pads to use are the same ones that the old contact wire use to short out.


The WS-467 circuit board with the switch installed.

Once the soldering is complete, reassemble the wall switch by putting the stem back into the front cover.  The internal square pad and the spring are optional.  You do use the rectangular button from the front face.  Then pop out the sliding disconnect switch so that you can put the switch bar in.  Place the house and unit dials into the front cover and snap the circuit board into place.  You should be able to push the button and feel a nice 'click' when it closes the circuit.

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(c) Edward Cheung, 2016