Elite Electric & Air light switch

Light Switch FAQs

Understanding Light Switch Needs

Much of what many homeowners self-diagnose as an electrical problem is actually a problem with the light switch. These issues can happen for various reasons, which local HVAC technicians and electricians will share today. Some problems can even be potential fire hazards, which is why any light switch issues should always be taken seriously.

Can a Broken Light Switch Cause a Fixture Problem?

an electrical fixture ready for repair

One of the leading reasons for problems with the light switch is a fixture problem. A flickering light can point to this.

Fixture problems are usually caused by a loose wire in the terminal screw or an issue with the wire connector at the switch. If the light is flickering, but the light switch is also hot, this could also be related to a corroded contactor. There is plenty of wiring required to reach from the light switch to the light fixture. This leaves a lot of room for problems to happen, which is why a licensed electrician should always diagnose any problems.

Any electrical component that feels warm or hot should be reported immediately to an electrician to avoid a potential fire hazard.

Can a Light Switch Be Related To a Broken Connection?

someone hearing the buzz of a broken connection

Another issue with light switches is a broken connection. Broken connections are often signaled by a “frying” or buzzing noise coming when the light switch is turned on.

These issues can happen for a few different reasons. Carbon buildup can occur inside of the light switch, which can lead to a corroded contactor. Without a solid connection, the light switch would be able to get the signal to turn on or off. Another common issue leading to a broken connection is a loose terminal screw.

With either of these light switch problems, the connection may still be able to work intermittently. It may even be a fire hazard and should be immediately evaluated by an electrician.

What is a Broken Toggle on a Light Switch?

Sometimes the problem with a light switch is a broken toggle. While most of the “old school” light switches are known as toggle switches, the toggle mechanism is actually located internally. 

a broken toggle on a brick wall

If the internal toggle breaks, the lever will either not be able to (or only sometimes) activate the contactors. This is usually a fairly easy problem to fix and can be diagnosed by feel. The light switch will feel extra unstable when being turned on or off like it’s sliding back and forth instead of just up and down.

Although this is not a complicated problem, there is always the risk of injury to the home or the homeowner when dealing with electricity. It’s best to avoid those potential problems by hiring a professional

About Elite Electric & Air

Elite Electric & Air is located in Port St. Lucie, Florida. They opened their doors in 1988 and have provided the local community with HVAC and electrical services ever since. Contact them today for expert help from experienced electricians.