5 Ways to Spot a Bad Light Switch

Sep 21, 2020

Every homeowner has dealt with a bad light switch before. Yet most people expect their lights to perform as designed, and are genuinely surprised when they flip a switch and nothing happens. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to spot malfunctioning light switches sooner rather than later, so they don’t surprise us and throw off our daily routine? Lucky for you, there is! Keep reading for the top five ways to spot a bad light switch, and remember to call our expert electricians at CMC Electric for all your lighting needs.

The Top5 Ways See If You Have a Bad Light Switch

  1. The Switch Sparks: Sparks are pretty much the last thing you want coming from any component of your electrical system. In the case of your light switch, you may occasionally see a small spark occur when you turn it on. This is called a “load arc,” and it occurs when the connections within your light switch are pulled apart from one another. However, if sparking has occurred more than once, is accompanied by a snapping sound, or the amount of sparks coming from your switch is significant, we can guarantee that you’ve got a problem on your hands. A sparking light switch can result in smoke and scorch marks at best and electrical fires at worst, so if sparking has occurred with one of your light switches, make sure to get it replaced ASAP.
  2. The Switch Feels Warm: It is not uncommon for a dimmer switch to feel a little warm as you turn your lights off, especially if they have been on for a long time. Yet for standard, toggle light switches, that warm feeling is never a good sign. Call an electrician right away to get your light switch replaced if you feel warmth emanating from it.
  3. The Switch Makes Strange Noises: To state the obvious, light switches are not supposed to make noises. If you hear a buzzing, clicking, or popping sound coming from your light switch, or a “snap” like what we mentioned above, something is probably wrong with the internal components, and you will need to have the switch replaced.
  4. The Light Doesn’t Always Turn On: If your light doesn’t always turn on, there’s a good chance it’s the bulb, not the switch. However, if you replace that bulb and the light fixture continues to perform inconsistently, chances are your problem is the switch.
  5. The Light Flickers: Flickering lights are basically the same as inconsistent lights. Sometimes the bulb is the problem, but if the flickering continues after the bulb has been replaced, then it is likely that the problem lies with the connection behind the switch.

CMC Electric is Here to Take Care of Your Switches

Light switches are among the simpler parts of your electrical system, but that doesn’t mean they don’t contain moving pieces that can wear down and malfunction over time. If you live in the same place long enough, all of your light switches will need to be replaced—and remember, the longer you wait to commit to that replacement, the greater the chance there is that you will end up with a fire hazard on your hands. If you want, you can purchase a multimeter to test the functionality of your light switches, but for electrical safety inspections and more, make sure to call our professional electricians. Our highly trained team can provide electrical switch repairs and wiring, plus we offer excellent financing and specials. Call today to take care of your light switches—we promise, you/our-services/wiring/’ll never get left in the dark with CMC Electric!

Dial (919) 694-4454 to schedule service, or click here to send us a message online.

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