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Electrical  /  January 13, 2022

Scarborough Electrical Services: Signs a Light Switch Should be Replaced

Signs a Light Switch Should be Replaced

Light switches are small, mundane fixtures. However, they have an important role to play. It is easy to take them for granted until they stop working. When this happens, it is not only annoying, but it could also be dangerous. Because of the inherent risk, you should call an electrician in Scarborough to repair any malfunctioning light switches in your home. Here are some signs that you need to make that call.

1. Warmth to the Touch

Traditional toggle switches should always be cool to the touch. It is not normal for them to feel hot or even warm. If you notice the temperature of a toggle switch increasing, you should call for electrical repair services right away.

Note that this guidance doesn’t necessarily apply to dimmer switches. It is normal for these to be a little warm to the touch after they have been on for a while. Unless it feels excessively hot, it is probably not a cause for concern.

2. Noise From the Switch

The motion of a light switch from the off position to the on position, or vice versa, may make a very slight clicking noise. However, that should be the extent of the sounds that you hear coming from a light switch. If you hear other noises, such as a continuous buzzing or popping, or clicking that persists when the switch is not in motion, it means that there is a problem with components inside the switch.

3. Large Sparks

There are circumstances in which sparks from a light switch are normal. For example, if you have built up a charge of static electricity by walking across the room, it may discharge when you come in contact with a piece of metal, such as the screws that hold the light switch plate in place. The switch and the plate itself are made of plastic and so should not produce any spark even if you have built up a charge of static electricity. However, sometimes you cannot avoid coming in contact with the screws, especially if you are groping for the light switch in the dark.

It is also normal for the switch to produce a load arc when you turn it off. This occurs from the motion of the connections inside the switch pulling apart from one another to open the circuit. It is a small, barely perceptible spark.

However, if the light switch produces a large spark that makes an audible popping noise when turned on or off, this is a sign that it has to be replaced because it has gone bad.

4. Smoke or Scorch Marks

Scorch marks or smoke from the light switch may be accompanied by other warning signs, such as warmth, noise, or sparks. However, even if either occurs on its own in the absence of other problems, it is a serious sign of trouble with your light switch that requires immediate attention.

5. Miscellaneous Problems

There are other signs of a worn-out light switch that do not fit neatly into any other category. For example, sometimes there are problems with the connectors within the light switch. This may cause the lights to flicker or fail to turn on completely. Sometimes the flickering is due to a light bulb that is about to burn out, but if you’ve changed the bulb and that doesn’t resolve the problem, you need to have the switch itself looked at.

Call an Electrician in Scarborough From Handyman Connection

Electrical repairs should only be performed by certified technicians to prevent injuries and further damage to your home. No job is too small for our ECRA contractors, so call us for the repair or replacement of light switches or other electrical components today.

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