Most people just like you probably don’t pay to much attention to the light switches in your home. While a lot of these will last for decades without any issues (apart from needing to be cleaned) there are a few things that you need to watch out for. After all, continuous use can cause wear and tare and you may discover that your light switch is beginning to show signs of failure.
Trust your Instinct
If you notice that something suddenly feels weird or different about your light switches, you shouldn’t ignore it. In a worst-case scenario, it could be indicating the possibility of a fire without immediate attention and repair. The best situation is that it may be an early warning sign that the switch needs to be replace.
Differences that May Indicate a Light Switch Issue
One of the differences that you mat notice with your light switch is nearing the end of its life is a strange sound. This can vary from a popping, hissing or crackling sound when the light switch is switched on. In most cases, the sounds that you can hear are created by live electricity that is causing an arch inside the switch. Over time, this can create a hazardous situation and possible a fire. At this point it would be worth getting an electrician called so they can investigate.
If you don’t hear or notice any strange sounds, you may still be aware of a problem by touching the switch. If you place the back of your hand against the switch plate or switch and it feels hot, then this can be an indicator of a serious electrical problem. As well as a fire risk. The issues could be there is too much voltage traveling through the switch, or an issue with the wiring within the walls.
A recent electrical contractor in London visited a premise that had a faulty switch in one of the offices, it was found that there was an issue with the wiring in part of the building which had been degrading over time. If they hadn’t of called to investigate then it could have caused a serious fire.
Bear in mind, it is normal for light switches to feel slightly warm, especially if you use dimmer switches. There is no reason to contact an electrician if the heat is mild. If the plate or switch is so hot that you could not keep the back of your hand on it for very long, then this does defiantly indicate a serious problem and the need for an electrician. If you are in doubt about any of your sockets or light switches then visit our lighting, mains and submains page.
Another warning that you may have an issue with is that your light switch is if you notice a small delay between when your have flicked the switch to when the light comes on. If this does happen, there is a high chance that the contracts in the switch are beginning to wear out. While this isn’t generally a fire hazard, the switch is likely to stop working at some point. The best idea to go ahead and have it replaced a professional
Updating Your Switches
If your light switch is worn out and is need of replacing, then you shouldn’t worry to much about it. This is a very quick and straight forward job for any licenced electrical. You may consider having a dimmer switch installed during the replacement, as this allows you to adjust the brightness in the room.
If you notice any of the issues mentioned above, then investing in a fully licenced electrician is the best course of action. This will help eliminate the problem, while also safeguarding your family and business.