How to Tell If a Light Switch Is Bad?

If there’s one electrical component that is widely used around the world more than any other electrical component, it’s the light switches. They get used over a thousand times easily. And because they are so widely used, these components are the first to become useless and succumb to failures. 

When switching a light switch on or off, if you hear any audible snap, crackle or pop, it indicates the light switch is about to give up. These are some of the early signs which shows that light switches are about to go bad. And once the light switch indicates signs of going bad, then you must change it. 

Concerned whether one of your light switches is going bad? How about you make some self diagnosis? 

Why do Light Switches Become Bad? 

A light switch is a simple machine and just like any other machine, light switches have several moving parts. With the passage of time, these parts become old and worn out because of which, the light switch starts malfunctioning. There’s a high chance that connections inside the switch may end up becoming loose or the plastic part of the light switch can have cracks and gaps. One way or the other, these are some of the signs which indicates the light switch has turned bad and requires a complete replacement. 

Four Signs Which Indicates Light Switch is About to Give Up

Have you ever put a fresh bulb in the socket and switched the light on but nothing happens? It’s a clear sign that either the bulb is dead or the switch. There can also be a problem with the bulb holder, however, that is a very rare condition. How’d you know the light switch has turned bad? 

The Light Flickers on Turning On

Bulbs are designed to light up right away. However, when you turn on a light switch and even if the bulb turns on, it flickers for a few seconds before turning on, it is a clear indication the light switch is about to give up. To test if the problem is with the bulb or the switch, the best thing is to try a different bulb in its place. Does the new bulb powers up and the flickering is still there, it’s evident the light switch is bad. 

The Switch Gives off Sparks on Turning On

When you turn the switch on and on occasions you see a little spark coming out of the switch, it indicates the light switch is not in good condition. Such a condition where a switch gives off sparks on opening/closing, it is called a load arc where usually the connections within the light switch are loose and are not corresponding to the functionality of the switch accordingly. If you see smokes or scorch marks on the switch because of a large snap and a flash, it’s clear the switch just died & you need a new one.  

Does the Switch Make Weird Noises?

Normal switches don’t make much noise when you turn them on or switch them off. So just in case, if a switch makes weird buzzing, popping or clicking noises when operating, it’s a clear sign. It’s high-time you should consider replacing the switch with a completely new one so you don’t have to end up getting the entire switchboard change because of some large electrical malfunctioning.

Is the Switch Warm to Touch? 

Normal warmth is understandable, but warmth that leaves a burning or tingling sensation in your finger, it is a sign your switch is about to go bad. Switches do tend to get warm when they are used for a prolonged time. If you touch one like after turning it on for 20-30 minutes approximately, it shows that the switch is warm and can give up at any instance. When purchasing a switch, it is always best that you consider asking your Vancouver electrical contractors to provide you the details of the best brands. 

When you install switches from the best brands, you may never have to experience such a problem again.