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.