You probably use the light switches in your home without giving them much thought. A light switch can work perfectly for years, but since it gets flipped on and off multiple times a day, a switch can wear out in time. Here are signs a light switch is bad and needs to be replaced.
Signs Of A Bad Light Switch
When the switch starts to go bad due to loose wiring or other cause, the electricity may flow intermittently. The light might come on sometimes but not others. It's also possible the light won't work at all. A bad switch often makes odd noises too. There might be a loud pop when you flip the switch on.
You might also hear electrical noises, such as sizzling or buzzing. Depending on what's wrong with the switch, you might detect a burning odor or you may even see sparks or smoke coming from the switch.
An early sign of light switch trouble is when the switch develops a different feel. If the switch seems looser or if you have to push it to one side to get it to work, something's going wrong behind the switch plate.
Some of these signs can also occur when the wiring is bad or when the light fixture is malfunctioning, so an electrician needs to troubleshoot the issue to determine if the problem is with the light switch.
Repairs For A Bad Switch
A light switch is an inexpensive part, so if it's bad, the electrician will replace it. First, the power is turned off at the electrical panel. After the switch plate is removed, the switch is checked to make sure the current is off, and then the switch is pulled out to examine it. There might be melted parts, char marks, or other signs of damage that indicate the source of the problem.
Sometimes, wires get loose from their connections, and if that's the case, the electrician can tighten the screws on the connections. If the wiring insulation is damaged, repairs may need to be done so the wiring isn't exposed. If the problem seems to be in the switch itself, then it is replaced with a new switch.
The old switch is removed first after disconnecting the wiring and then the new switch is put in by attaching the wires in the same way the old switch was wired. With the wiring tight and a new switch in place, the problem with the light switch should be solved.
When you think your light switch might be bad, call an electrician as soon as you can to have it repaired. If the switch feels hot, has a melting plastic odor, or if you see smoke, then call an electrician right away.
You may want to turn off the power to the switch at the electrical panel until electrical repairs can be done. Electrical malfunctions can sometimes start fires, so it's important to get repairs done promptly, even for something as simple as a bad light switch.