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Common Light Switch Problems

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Are Your Light Switches Damaged?

Light switches generally aren’t the first things people look at when the lights stop working. Most of the time, it’s a bad bulb or a tripped breaker. However, it’s not uncommon to have problems in the light switch itself

Typical switches are relatively simple and easy to take apart, but they do have small parts, and people do need a few tools to troubleshoot a faulty light switch properly. Read on to discover common light switch problems and how to fix them.

Light Fixture Problems

a pair of outlets ready for repair

When having lighting issues, there are two common places to look at. One is at the fixture itself. This involves a burned-out lightbulb, a wiring problem or a loose connection. It can be hard to determine just where the issue is, which is why there are a few common signs below that can help narrow down the search.

  • Flickering: If the light is flickering, it may be a faulty connection in the light switch itself or a problem with a wall outlet on the same circuit. 
  • Light only turns on sometimes or not at all: If it takes a few flips of the switch for the light to come on, chances are there is a loose connection. But not all connections are easy to fix. And working with electricity can always be a risk. 

Fixing a Broken Connection

a woman hearing the buzz of a broken connection

If one hears a sizzling or buzzing sound from behind the wall, there may be a corroded or broken connection or a loose screw. If one smells burning or ozone, they should immediately turn off the breaker to avoid a potential fire hazard.

If one has a faulty connection or experiences a buzzing sound from the switch, they’ll want to leave the job up to a professional unless they have training with electricity and wiring. Improper wiring can cause electrical fires and can be avoided by calling an electrician. 

However, if one does have electrical training, they can use a voltage tester to make sure they’re getting power to the terminals. If not, they may have to replace the switch itself. If they are getting power, it may just be a loose connection that’s causing the issue. 

Fixing a Loose Toggle

A loose or broken toggle is one of the most common light switch issues. The toggle serves to make a connection whenever the switch is flipped, allowing electricity to power the light fixture. One can often feel a broken toggle when they go to turn the light on or off at the switch. If the switch itself feels loose, it probably needs repairs on the toggle.

light switch out on a brick wall

While this sounds like an easy job, it’s always a good idea to call an electrician to do it. They can troubleshoot the problem and know exactly what’s wrong and how to fix it. Leaving a wiring or electrical issue to chance is never a good idea. One may also schedule a whole-home safety inspection to ensure they and their loved ones have the proper protection from electrical issues. 

About JDV Electric

Since 2005 the experts at JDV Electric have been serving Lansdowne, Pennsylvania with pride. They make their customers their top priority with upfront pricing, emergency services, and a 100% guarantee on every job. For superb service and excellent workmanship, contact JDV Electric’s homegrown team of qualified electricians today. 

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