Most Common Problems With Light Switches

What Are the Most Common Issues For Light Switches?

Flickering lights? It sounds like something that should only happen on Halloween when all the ghosts and goblins come out. But if homeowners are experiencing flickering lights during other times in the year, something is wrong with the electrical system in the house. Yes, sometimes it just ends up being a burnt-out bulb that needs replacement or a loose bulb that needs tightening. But in many other cases, it signals an issue with parts of the electrical system, like the light switches in the house.

In this article, homeowners can learn more about common electrical problems, including broken wiring and malfunctioning light switches.

Finding the Source of Fixture Problems

light fixtures hanging off the wall

The first place a homeowner should look for electrical problems is at the light fixtures themselves. They may start to flicker, dim suddenly, or behave in other unusual ways. To find the source of the light fixture problem, homeowners can use the process of elimination. 

All light bulbs will burn out at one point or another and will need replacement. But if the bulb is replaced and the light fixture is still experiencing the same problem, it’s a sign that there’s some bigger issue with the electrical system. 

Next, homeowners can check the electrical panel for corrosion or malfunctioning breakers. If all seems well, check for any broken or frayed wires that are exposed, and check the light switches for loose or cracked toggles. Once the root of the problem is identified, it will be easier for a professional electrician to come into the home and fix it. 

A Broken Connection in the Electrical Wiring

someone hearing the buzz of a broken connection

One of the most common causes of electrical system problems is a broken wiring connection, and there are a variety of reasons for this.

  • Older homes have older wiring, which can fray or break down over time.
  • Flooding and other types of storms can result in damage to the wiring and connections.
  • If the home is in an area with lots of wildlife, rodents, or other animals, they can chew through the wires and break the connections.

The broken connections are usually out of sight behind the walls, so homeowners won’t always see them, but there are a few other signs to watch out for. If a snapping or buzzing sound comes from the walls or the light fixtures, there is a burning odor in the room, or if the wall feels warm around the light switches, these are all signs of a broken wiring connection.

Loose Toggles Pose a Threat To Safety

Another common electrical problem is loose toggles on light switches. Loose toggles can be identified simply from touching the switch and seeing if it wiggles back and forth. A loose toggle may seem like no big deal, but it can pose a significant safety hazard. When it shifts back and forth, the extra movement will start to wear down the wiring behind the switch resulting in frayed or damaged wires. Additionally, loose toggles allow for electricity to travel from the wires to the switch without proper grounding, leading to a safety hazard that can result in minor or fatal electrical shocks.

a loose toggle hanging off a brick wall

Loose toggles are fairly easy to fix, but it’s always best to hire a professional electrician to do the work to ensure everyone’s safety and prevent any further damage from being done.

About Electrical Connections LLC

Since Electrical Connections LLC began in 2003, it’s been their number one priority to ensure that homeowners and their families can safely enjoy the electricity running through their homes! The technicians at Electrical Connections LLC always conduct themselves ethically and professionally. Any electrical work they do adheres to national and local codes, and they have created a work environment for their team that is safe and respectful.

Skip to content