How to Tell a Light Switch Is Bad?

We all use light switches. In fact, we’ll go as far as to say that we use them so often that it’s easy to stop thinking about what they do. But when the time comes that you flip the switch and the room in question doesn’t fill with light, light switches are suddenly all you can think about.

How did it get like this? And what can you do to bring the light back into your life? Read below, and we’ll answer all these questions and more.

Why Isn’t My Light Switch Working?

light switchLight switches are incredibly durable technologies, and they usually require only minimal maintenance to last for decades. And while some may say that you can replace a light switch by yourself, it’s not something that we suggest. While a light switch installation seems simple, it’s deceptively complicated and very potentially dangerous to people who don’t have the proper training.

It may be loose wiring under the light switch plate, which manifests as flickering lights. It could also be a broken mechanism that keeps the switch from working altogether. When troubleshooting and checking for problem areas, you could benefit from inspecting your circuit breaker. A tripped circuit or fused burnout can also affect your lights and, as a result, the light switches.

But when that doesn’t work, how do you know that you need to arrange a replacement light switch installation?

When to Pursue a New Light Switch Installation

Your light switch works best when you don’t have to think about it. When you spend more than a passing thought on some aspect of your lighting fixtures, that’s a very significant sign that something is wrong.

A load arc is a tiny spark that happens when the connections in your light switch pull apart. If you find this happens when you turn off the lights, you should call in professional electricians to check things out. If you experience a BIG spark, which usually comes with signs of fire damage, that’s definitely an indicator that you need a light switch installation.

If the connectors in a switch are damaged or non-functioning, it’ll result in faulty lighting. Your lights may flicker before turning on, even after you’ve replaced the bulb. Or it might decide not to turn out altogether. When it reaches that point, the best solution is to replace the switch.

A warm or noisy switch is also a sign to get a light switch installation. Properly-working light switches don’t make any sound once so ever. If your switch functions with a clicking or buzzing sound, that’s a product of damage in the inner components. And while a dimmer switch usually is warm to the touch when regularly used, your standard light switch should always be cool. If it’s not, something is wrong.

If anything we mentioned so far sounds like what you’ve been experiencing, there’s a good chance that you need a new light switch. But if you’d like to know for sure, you can use a multimeter to check if your current switches are functioning as they should.

Testing a Faulty Light Switch

Electricians are well-familiar with a multimeter, and they use the device to troubleshoot issues on all kinds of electrical systems. When you call an electrician like the ones at MZ Electric, they’ll bring one with them to inspect your light switch. But if you’re inclined to, you can buy a multimeter off Amazon for around forty dollars.

That is how you test a light switch using a multimeter. Before you start, make sure that you turn off the circuit breaker that connects to the switch you’re testing. Then you want to uninstall the problematic light switch and turn the multimeter onto the continuity or ohms setting (depending on the model you have).

To test a single-pole switch, all you need to do is take one multimeter of lead and touch it to either side terminal. When you flip on the switch, you should get a reading of one on your multimeter.

For a three-way switch, you can touch one lead to the common screw and the other to one of the travelers. Turn the switch with the multimeter attached to either traveler. That should also result in a reading of one on the multimeter.

If you get any other number in this test, that means your light switch needs to be replaced.

Choosing an “Electrician Near Me”

For a top-tier light switch installation in Colorado, MZ Electric is the best name in the game. We’ve established ourselves for almost twenty years as the best electrical service provider across the Denver Metro Area. For your residential power solutions, only MZ Electric can bring the expertise and experience you need.

You shouldn’t have to work to get power in your home. With the proper light switch installation, you can keep the power on so much easier. So call MZ Electric today for your lighting needs. We’ll be the brightest idea for a troublesome situation.