How to Tell if a Light Switch is Bad

How to Tell if a Light Switch is Bad

April 05, 2023

The electrical system in residential or commercial buildings is expensive, making it easy to take light switches for granted. Despite being used thousands of times yearly; they receive little or no care unless there’s a problem. Some signs of a damaged light switch are clear, such as an audible pop, crackle, or snap when you flip the switch. Call a professional electrician for maintenance if you suspect your switch is defective.

At Mr. Electric of Dallas, we understand the mechanics of light switches and ensure long-term solutions to mitigate further damage. While a malfunctioning light switch doesn’t seem like a serious problem, delaying repairs can lead to costly electrical switch replacement projects or safety hazards. Here are signs you need to call an electrician to replace your light switches.

Choosy Light Fixture

We have all experienced one light switch that doesn’t work as expected. Sometimes it turns on, other times you need several tries before it functions. If you notice a flickering fixture, try changing the bulb to see if it will rectify the problem. In case the bulb isn’t the issue, chances are there is a faulty connection in the light switch. Avoid using the fixture until the switch is fixed or replaced based on the severity of the damage.

The Switch Sparks

When you flip a light switch and it sparks, you need to schedule an inspection with an electrical service as soon as possible. A sparking light switch, also called a load arc, happens when the connection within the outlet is away. Small sparks can signal the switch is salvageable, but large sparks with an audible "snap" show severe damage, and replacement is imminent. There are situations when you see scorch marks or smoke telling you it’s time to get a new light switch.

Noisy Switch

A functioning switch in tip-top shape doesn’t make any noise. So, if you hear buzzing, clicking, or popping from the switch, something is not working as expected. Refrain from using the switch to prevent electrical hazards like shocks and fires. We can dispatch a qualified electrician to your premises within a moment’s notice to assess and repair the problem. If the damage is irreversible, it may be time to replace the switch. Please don’t attempt repair or replacement without the expertise or tools to avoid safety risks.

Warm to the Touch

You may notice the switch is warm when turning off a dimmer switch that has been on for a long time. This is normal, but if you have a standard toggle switch, it is a sign of a problem. These switches should feel cool throughout; if they warm up, buy a new one. Use a multimeter to measure the electrical voltage, or hire an electrician to test the switch if you lack the equipment. Based on the assessment, we can determine if the switch is receiving excess voltages and recommend a viable solution.

Contact us at Mr. Electric of Dallas to schedule a consultation with our representatives and learn more about our services. We provide excellent electrical outlet replacement, repair, and maintenance services without breaking the bank.