Do you have old light switches in your home that are wearing out? We use them daily to turn the lights on and off and they will wear out after years of service. Because they can become unsafe, it’s a good idea to consider whether you have any older ones in your home. Here is a good example of an older switch that should be replaced.
How Can I Tell?
If you’ve ever noticed a snapping sound or a crackling sound or a pop, your switch is probably defective and in need of replacement. Some switches will actually sizzle if the contact is seriously worn out. That sound indicates the contacts are arcing and the switch is getting hot. You might even smell the plastic burning as the parts melt. Leave the switch in the OFF position, and shut off the circuit breaker if you know how to do that.
Another sign you might see is the lights flickering if the contacts are weak or burnt, or if the wire connection has loosened. You might also feel that the handle is loose and wiggly instead of firmly seated in position, which is a sign that the switch is cracked or broken.
What Should I Do?
If you get any of these warning signs that a switch is bad or going bad, don’t ignore it. Saying that you’ll fix it later might be a very bad decision for you and your family.
If you know how to turn off the correct circuit breaker and buy the correct replacement switch, replacing the switch can be a fairly easy do-it-yourself project, especially if it is just a single two-way switch. However, if it involves multiple switches in a box or a 3-way switch, that is more complicated. If you aren’t comfortable doing it yourself, we’d be glad to take care of it for you.
Contact us if you need help — we want your family to remain safe.