A wall switch has many moving parts that are used thousands of times over its lifespan. It should not be surprising that these switches eventually wear out. It will be pretty obvious that your switch is reaching the end of its life and will need to be replaced. You should be looking out for some of these common warning signs.
Temperamental Light Fixture
Do your lights take a while to switch on or flickers before turning on completely? This could be a sign that the metal component inside your switch is wearing out. It is failing to complete the electrical conduction needed to complete the circuit. Even if this only happens occasionally, it is suggested to replace the switch before it causes further damage to the other components.
It is not uncommon to see small sparks coming from inside your switch when you turn it off. This happens when the electricity jumps between the connections as they pull apart from each other. It is normal in most cases and does not indicate a problem. However, larger sparks or sparks that make audible noises is an indication of a fault switch. When the sparks start causing smoke or burnt marks on the cover and toggle of your switch, you should replace your switch immediately.
Faulty switches can make a variety of electrical sounds such as clicking, sizzling, popping and buzzing noises. It can be caused by a loose wire connection but it is most likely a sign that your switch is worn out. Have an electrician check the wiring connections in your switch before replacing the switch completely.
Switch is warm to touch
Generally, a standard toggle switch should be cool to touch. If your switch starts feeling warm, it is a sign of a faulty switch. The heat could be caused by an improper flow of electricity. Another possibility is that your switch is undersized for the application attached. You should change your switch to a more appropriate switch capable of handling your appliance.
Switch doesn’t feel right
Your fingers are the best detector of a fault switch as it toggles the switch everyday. If you start noticing the toggle lever starting to operate differently, either becoming stiffer or looser, there could be something wrong with your switch. The mechanism in the switch could be worn out and the switch could need replacing.
Changing a switch may seem like an easy job to DIY but dealing with electricity can be a dangerous job. Do not risk your safety and leave it to our professional who knows best.