Light switches are a common staple in homes. With constant use, it is inevitable that fail and need to be replaced. Though audible snaps, crackles, or pops when you flip the switch indicate it is time to replace the light switch, however, other subtle symptoms can be overlooked. With this in mind, we at Peterkin Electric would like to discuss detecting faulty light switches in Orange County, CA. There are many moving parts in light switch. The plastic parts may break, and the connections can become loose as it continues to wear down.
How to Tell if Light Switch is Bad
When you’ve put a fresh light bulb in the fixture, but the lights will not turn on is clear sign that the light switch has died. Other signs are listed below.
1) Light switch sparked. When you flip the light switch off on occasion, you may see a small spark. Known as a load arc, the connections within the light switch are pulled away from one another. If there are large sparks that make an audible snap, the light switch is bad. You need to replace the light switch, particularly if see smoke or scorch marks.
2) Malfunctioning light fixture. The flicker for moment happens occasionally before turning on and putting in a new light bulb doesn’t fix the flicker. A new light switch is called for when the proper connections are not being made within the light switch and it’s time for a new.
3) Light switch makes crackling sound when turned on. When working properly, light switches don’t make any noise. If you start to hear any clicking, buzzing, or popping coming from the switch, something within the switch is not working properly. The switch needs to be replaced.
4) Light switch is hot. Being warm to the touch is a sign of deterioration, and a light switch should never be warm. However, turning a dimmer switch off after its been on awhile might feel a little warm. If a switch feels warm, it is time for a replacement.
Testing a Light Switch with a Multimeter
To measure electrical voltage, a multimeter is a handheld testing device. In order to troubleshoot problems on motors, circuits, appliances, power supplies, wiring systems, and more, electricians and contractors use a multimeter. How to test a light switch with a multimeter:
1) Flip off the circuit breaker that delivers power to the light switch being tested.
2) The original light switch needs to be removed.
3) Flip on the multimeter and put it on the Continuity or Ohms setting, according to the model you have.
4) Discover if you have a single-pole switch or a three-way switch. A two side terminal screws and may have a ground screw near one of the ends features single-pole switches. Dark-colored screw and two normal side terminals are associated with three-way switches.
5) To test a single pole light switch, touch one multimeter lead to each of the side terminals. When you flip the switch on, the multimeter should show a reading of 1.
6) In order for one of the travelers to test a three-way switch, hold one multimeter lead to the common screw and touch the other lead. Touch the second lead to the other traveler to test it as well afterwards.
7) The light switch needs to be replaced should the test fail.