Many light switches last for decades without needing much maintenance, but this does not mean they are immune to aging. There comes a time in every homeowner’s life when a light switch in their home is breaking down, so it is important to know the signs. Here are some signs to help you recognize when a light switch in your home needs to be replaced.
Use Your Senses
If a light switch emits a smell, follow your instincts and investigate. A broken light switch can become a fire hazard, so detecting an issue sooner rather than later can diminish the chances of serious dangers associated with the faulty switch.
If you hear an unusual sound when you switch your light on and off, such as a hissing or popping noise, your light switch might be malfunctioning. These types of noises typically originate from live electricity looping inside your switch, which is another effect of an impaired light switch that can have potentially dangerous effects if not repaired.
You may recognize a difference in the temperature of your light switch plate, which is another indication that something is wrong with your switch. If a light switch feels hot to the touch, it could indicate an electrical problem within your home’s walls. Keep in mind that it’s normal for light switches to feel warmer at some points. There is no reason to call an electrician if your light switch’s temperature is only mildly warm. However, if the temperature is hot to the point where you would not want to leave your fingers on the switch for more than a couple of seconds, shut off your switch and immediately call an expert.
If you spot a delay between turning on your light switch and the light actually coming on, it is likely the electrical connections in your switch are slowing down and worn. This typically occurs after several years of usage and is not usually a fire hazard. However, the switch is still bound to stop working in the near future, so be sure to get s replacement at your earliest convenience.