How to Tell if a Light Switch is Bad

Your light switches are easy to take for granted. They get used thousands of times over the years, until the day they start to fail and require a replacement. Sometimes the signs that your light switch is bad are obvious. For example, if there is an audible snap, crackle, or pop, when you flip the switch, it’s defective and needs to be replaced. This article is all about light switches – how to know when they’re going bad, and how to replace them when it’s time.

Why Light Switches Go Bad

A light switch is just like any other simple machine with moving parts. Over time, they wear down. Connections become loose and plastic parts break. Eventually, every light switch in your home will be replaced.

Signs it’s Time to Replace a Light Switch

• Light Fixture Issues – Do you have that one light switch that just doesn’t work right? Sometimes it turns on, and sometimes it doesn’t. Occasionally it flickers for a second before finally coming on. New light bulbs don’t fix the flicker issue. If this sounds familiar, the right connections are not being made within the light switch, and it’s likely time for a new one.

Sparking Switch – On occasion, you may see a small spark when you flip the light switch off. This is called load arc, which happens when the connection within the light switch is pulled away from each other. This is not an issue. However, if there is a large spark that makes an audible “snap,” the light switch needs to be replaced. You’re now dealing with a fire hazard.

• Noisy Switch – A good light switch is a quiet light switch. If you start to hear clicking, buzzing, or popping, something is wrong, and you likely need a replacement.

• Warm Light Switch – When you’re turning a dimmer switch off, you may notice that it feels a little warm to the touch if it’s been on for a while. This is normal. However, it is not normal for a standard toggle light switch to warm up. A toggle light switch should always feel cool. If your switch is warm, it’s time for a new one.

Need Light Switch Replacement in Omaha or Lincoln?

Replacing a light switch may seem simple enough after watching a DIY YouTube video, but can become dangerous if you’re uncertain about the status of your wiring, and the electrical load on your system. If you have ANY doubts, it’s best to schedule an appointment with an electrical service professional. Call a local Omaha electrician and ensure your new light switches are installed safely and correctly.

Call Today

Omaha – 402-731-1220
Lincoln – 402-464-4333