3 Signs You Should Replace Your Light Switches

Light switches are a core part of your home's electrical system, and you likely use them each day without ever really thinking about them. However, just like all other parts of your home, constant use, when combined with age, can cause your switches to begin to degrade. Damaged or worn switches can represent a serious safety hazard since they are directly wired into your electrical system – so you should keep an eye out for any of the following warning signs to determine when you should talk to an electrical contractor about replacing your current switches.

1. Flickering and Delayed Lights

One of the easiest to spot signs that your light switches may be at the end of their lifespan is if you find that it takes a few seconds for your lights to turn on after you've flipped the switch, especially if the light flickers to life for a few seconds before turning fully on. This can point to damaged wiring or the wearing away of the metal components within the switch that are used to supply power to the light itself: in either case, you likely need to have some of the wiring and the switch itself replaced.

2. Noise

Another sign that you should talk to an electrician straight away is if you can hear a constant buzzing sound coming from behind the faceplate of the switch. In some cases, it can be a popping or clicking sound. This can point to a switch that has simply worn out once again, but can also be caused by loose wire connections or the wearing away of the insulation around the wires attached to the switch. That sound is the sound of a live current and represents a serious risk of an electrical fire developing – avoid using that switch until a professional has taken the time to look at it.

3. Sparking and Burn Marks

Finally, the last and arguably the most serious indication that you are overdue to replace a particular switch is if you notice sparks flying when you flip the switch. This can be caused by damaged and exposed wiring behind the switch, causing the current to arc through the air – a serious risk of a fire. In some cases, you may not see the spark itself but will notice burn marks in the area around the switch, or even the smell of burning, both of which point to flying sparks.

Contact a company like Etheridge Electric Company Inc for more information and assistance.