Tag: light switches

When to Replace a Light Switch

Light switches are like old friends. You’ve known them for years, so when they don’t act the way they used to, you know something’s wrong. Though most light switch issues are not fire-hazards, it is good practice to address any problems immediately, so there is no risk to your family.

The expert electricians at Roman Electric are here to help you identify the signs of a worn out or defective light switch.

Crackle, Snap, Pop

Unusual sounds coming from your light switch are a tell-tale sign it’s time for replacement. Most of the time the issue lies with a faulty switch. But, a snap, hiss, crackle, or pop when you flip the switch could also mean that live electricity is arcing– a potential fire hazard. Call an electrician to diagnose the issue.

Feeling the Heat

If your light switch or switch plate feels hot, a serious electrical issue and fire hazard could be hiding in the wall. A hot light switch means there is too much voltage traveling through the switch, or that you have a wiring issue.  This rule does not necessarily apply to dimming switches. With a dimmer, feeling a mild heat is normal, so only contact the electrician if the heat is intense.

A Light Delay

Notice a delay between flipping the switch and the light turning on? Chances are, the electrical contacts are wearing out. After years of use, the metal parts inside switches wear out and impede the flow of electricity to light fixtures. Luckily, this is not the sign of a fire hazard, but simply the need for a replacement.

Loosening Up

If your light switch has lost its firm snap, it’s time to replace. The loosening of a switch often occurs concurrently with a delay in a light fixture illuminating. Both symptoms are caused by worn out parts in the switch.

If your light switch is showing any of the above signs, you must replace it at the risk of a fire. But, thanks to advances in the form and function of light switches, there are also plenty of reasons to replace a working switch.

  • Dimmer – Dimmer switches enable you to adjust the level of light in a room.
  • Motion Sensor – Motion sensor features only activate lights when motion is detected in a room and deactivate them without motion. This may help save on energy costs.
  • Time-Delay – Time delay functions cut off power to a light after a certain amount of time has passed.
  • Outlets — If you have a room that could benefit from extra outlets, consider purchasing a light switch with attached outlets.

Not sure when to replace a light switch? Just call Roman Electric!

When confronted with complex wiring, faulty light switches, and potential fire hazards, the best thing you can do is call an electrician. At Roman Electric, we believe in fast, friendly, and effective service. Our team of skilled engineers has been serving the greater Milwaukee area for decades, making us a trusted name in electric, plumbing, and HVAC service. Call us at 414-369-3798 or schedule service on our website.

5 Common Electrical Shock Causes

We all use electricity in our homes for utilities and entertainment, but with this comes the risk of electrical shock. Electricity is a dangerous, sometimes unpredictable element. And if live electricity touches you or conductive material, electrical shock can occur. With over 30,000 non-fatal accidents happening per year, electrical shock is no laughing matter. But what can cause it to happen?

The experts at Roman Electric are here to list 5 common causes for electrical shock. Follow our guide below to help understand how electrical shock can occur in your Milwaukee home.

1. Faulty Outlet/Switch

When an outlet or switch is faulty or malfunctioning, electrical shock can ensue. Outlets and switches receive their electrical currents through a box, further connected to wiring. If any screw or wiring is loose on the box, wiring, or outlet/switch, electricity becomes unstable. This can lead to electrical shock if you plug in an appliance or flip the light switch.

Aside from loose connections, damages can also cause electrical shock. Damages such as frayed wiring, and cracked casing give less resistance and a bad path for electricity. Therefore, if you see any burn marks, cracks, or sparks coming from your outlet, contact Roman Electric for immediate assistance.

2. Outdated Outlets

An outlet doesn’t have to be damaged to emit electrical shock – it can happen from just being old! Outdated outlets usually possess two-prong instead of the now common three. Two-prong outlets possess no ground wire. Ground wire acts as an additional safety barrier in the case of an unstable electrical current. This wire gives unstable currents a passage to the ground instead of you or the other wires, hence the name.

Without a ground, two-prong outlets have no way to safely channel unstable electricity. This increases the chances of shock.

3. Faulty Appliances

Faulty appliances don’t always channel electricity as well as they used too. And if you plug one in, you may receive electrical shock! When an appliance has damaged circuitry, frayed wiring, or broken cords, electrical currents become unstable. When you plug one in, the unstable electricity can ruin your appliance, as well as shock you. Always check your appliances before plugging them in!

4. Electricity Touching Water

When electricity encounters water, get away from it! Electricity and water make a dangerous combination, as the water’s ions are extremely conductive. This leads to electrical shock, possibly at a more severe level. A submerged source of electricity can turn any body of water into an electrical shock hazard. This can damage the electrical source as well, possibly ruining whatever appliance or device that may hold the current.

5. Mishandling Electricity

If you don’t treat electricity with caution in mind, you are at risk of electrical shock. As we described, electricity is dangerous and can be unpredictable. You must be careful when using any part of your electrical system. Follow these general tips below:

  • Dry your hands before touching an outlet/switch.
  • Place plastic covers over your outlets if children are around.
  • Keep water sources and outlets, switches, and appliances at a safe distance
  • Never touch hot/live wire, or any hot circuit.
  • Never perform any work on your electrical system without first consulting a professional.

As the last step says, if you require service on your electrical system, first contact Roman Electric to consult with an electrical professional. Not only will we advise you on the best solution for you to take – we can perform any electrical service at a reasonable cost!

Keep in mind these common electrical shock causes as you help improve the electrical safety of your Milwaukee home. And contact Roman Electric when you require affordable and quality electrical services. We help ensure you have ample electrical safety as well as protection against shock. Give us a call at 414-369-3798 to schedule an appointment today!

Related Links

Electrical Injury – MedlinePlus