Common Light Switch Problems

Problems with light switches could be a quite common occurrence in the house. Although sometimes the answer may be quite simple, fixing a switch problem often requires a certain comfort level for working with electricity. Without the correct electrical knowledge, performing your individual repairs will be quite dangerous. If in case you have a light switch in need of repair, it’s best to first assess the situation and determine you probably have the skill and knowledge to fix it. If not, it’s best to always contact a licensed electrician. Here is an inventory of some common switch issues which you should utilize to help troubleshoot your own problem.

Tripped Circuit Breakers and Burned-Out Fuses

Gold 1 Gang 1 Way Wall Touch Switch WirelessA tripped circuit breaker or burned-out fuse could make you erroneously believe that something is wrong with your light switch. Before you automatically head to the store for a replacement switch, you need to first take a look at your fuse or circuit breaker box. If this is where the problem lies, resetting the breaker or replacing the fuse should fix the problem. However, in the event you experience the issue frequently, it is probably an indication that the circuit breaker or fuse has too heavy of a load. If that is the case, it’s best to contact an electrician.

Broken Switches

Just as with any mechanical device, a light switch can simply break. For those who notice that flipping the switch up and down has no effect on the sunshine fixture, or if it feels as if the switch doesn’t hold it is position properly, the switch probably just needs to be replaced. Although replacing a switch might appear to be a simple task, it shouldn’t be attempted on your own if you wouldn’t have a good comfort level working with electricity. When performed improperly, a simple light switch replacement job could turn into a dangerous situation.

Glowing, Buzzing or Overheating

These highly visible signs of light switch trouble needs to be dealt with immediately. When you have an ordinary up and down switch installed, it should never glow, buzz or generate a noticeable amount of heat. If it does, it can be an indication of an overloaded breaker or a loose wire, both of which can be dangerous safety hazards. You should call an electrician immediately when these signs of trouble are first noticed. It is important to notice that a moderate amount of heat or a slight buzzing could be normal within the case of a dimmer switch. However, if in case you have any doubt, it’s best to be safe rather than sorry, and simply call an electrician to assess the situation.

Flickering Lights

Although it can be easy to easily attribute a flickering light to a loose bulb, it could also be the results of a loose or bare wire. If any flickering is observed, it’s best to immediately try tightening the bulb to see if it fixes the situation. If not, it is best to have the wiring under the cover or plate inspected so that any problems might be properly handled. If allowed to continue, the top result might be a fire.


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