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Electrical Wire and Cable

Solution for Sparking Light Switches

Sparking Light Switches: Why You May See a Spark in Your Wall Switch and What to do About It.

Home Electrical Wiring Video

How to Wire a GFCI Outlet
without a Ground Wire

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Cause and Solution for Sparking Light Switches
[ad#block]Electrical Question: Why do my light switches snap and spark when I turn them on?.

This electrical question came from: Lee, a Homeowner from Sarnia Ontario, Canada.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical question Lee.

Sparking Light Switches

Why You May See a Spark in Your Wall Switch and What to do About It

Electrical Loads of Light Fixtures and Switches

Burnt Receptacle Outlet

Rated Size of  a Light Switch

More about Wiring Light Switches

How to Wire a Switch

Wiring a Light Switch – Diagram 1

Wiring Diagrams

Fully Explained Light Switch Wiring Diagrams. Detailed Electrical Wiring Diagrams and Pictures assist your Home Electrical Projects.

Lighting For The Home

Lighting Electrical Codes

Electrical Outlet Wiring

Wiring Electrical Outlets for the Home

Home electrical wiring includes 110 volt outlets and 220 volt outlets and receptacles which are common place in every home. See how wiring electrical outlets for the home are done.

Using Electrical Testers

Understanding Electrical Testers

When working on home electrical wiring using voltage testers can play an important part in electrical safety. Electrical testers enable you to identify electrical circuits and help prevent the possibility of accidental electrical shock.
Types of Electrical Testers
Using Electrical Testers

The following may also be helpful for you:

Dave's Guide to Home Electrical Wiring:

» You Can Avoid Costly Mistakes! «

Here's How to Do It:
Wire It Right with the help of my Illustrated Wiring Book

Great for any Home Wiring Project.
  electrical wiring  

Complete Guide to Home Electrical Wiring

Perfect for Homeowners, Students,
Handyman, Handy Women, and Electricians
Wiring GFCI Outlets
Wiring Home Electric Circuits
120 Volt and 240 Volt Outlet Circuits
Wiring Light Switches
Wiring 3-Wire and 4-Wire Electric Range
Wiring 3-Wire and 4-Wire Dryer Cord and Dryer Outlet
How to Troubleshoot and Repair Electrical Wiring
Wiring Methods for Upgrading Electrical Wiring
NEC Codes for Home Electrical Wiring
....and much more.

Learn more about Home Electrical Wiring
with my Online Video Course:
Basic Home Electrical Wiring by Example

Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.

Electrical Tips to Help You Wire it Right

The Safest Way to Test Electrical Devices and Identify Electric Wires!

The Non-Contact Electrical Tester
This is a testing tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and is the first test tool I grab to help identify electrical wiring. It is a Non-contact tester that I use to easily Detect Voltage in Cables, Cords, Circuit Breakers, Lighting Fixtures, Switches, Outlets and Wires. Simply insert the end of the tester into an outlet, lamp socket, or hold the end of the tester against the wire you wish to test. Very handy and easy to use.

The Quickest Way to Check for Faulty Electrical Wiring!

The Plug-In Outlet Tester
This is the first tool I grab to troubleshoot a problem with outlet circuit wiring. This popular tester is also used by most inspectors to test for power and check the polarity of circuit wiring.
It detects probable improper wiring conditions in standard 110-125 VAC outlets Provides 6 probable wiring conditions that are quick and easy to read for ultimate efficiency Lights indicate if wiring is correct and indicator light chart is included Tests standard 3-wire outlets UL Listed Light indicates if wiring is incorrect Very handy and easy to use.

Strip Off Wire Insulation without Nicking and Damaging the Electric Wire!

The Wire Stripper and Wire Cutter
My absolute favorite wire stripping tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and this is the tool I use to safely strip electrical wires.
This handy tool has multiple uses:
The wire gauges are shown on the side of the tool so you know which slot to use for stripping insulation.
The end of the tool can be used to grip and bend wire which is handy for attaching wire onto the screw terminals of switches and outlets..

The wire stripper will work on both solid and stranded wire. This tool is Very Handy and Easy to Use.

More articles about Light Switches and Home Electrical Wiring:
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Checking Baseboard Heating Units AFCI Outlet and Circuit Wiring

FAQs Frequently Asked Questions and Comments

5 Responses to “Solution for Sparking Light Switches”
  1. andrew says:

    Last night I was installing a shelve to a wall and when I drilled a screw on the wall (using a driller), I saw some sparks on the light switch (we opened the plating to find the stud) and then the lights turned off. I went for the breaker and turned it back on and it’s all working now.

    Should I be concerned? Please let me know what to do.

  2. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Andrew,
    From what has been described, it appears that the electrical wiring has been drilled into and sustained damage which caused the circuit breaker to trip off. Therefore, and for the sake of safety, the portion of the wall where the work was being done should be opened so the electrical wiring may be inspected, and then repairs should be made as needed.
    I hope this helps,

  3. Tracey anwar says:

    When I switch my light off I can see a very faint spark in the bottom left side of the switch. Is this dangerous? Do I need an electrician or is it an easy fix that can be done on my own. It only sparks when I switch it off.

  4. Virginia says:

    I recently purchased a 1965 home in Oklahoma The home had original receptacles and switched in small metal back boxes. We replaced most of the switches and receptacles a couple months ago with new Leviton Decora 15 amp. Last night when I turned on the switch to the light/fan in my bedroom a huge arc (flash of flame) erupted from the switch! Scared me silly. I turned off the fan light and now I am wondering what happened, and what should we do next?

  5. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Virginia,
    An arc flash can be the result of an electrical load that is being switched on or off, or an electrical fault. A typical fan light in good condition should not produce a flash as you have described. The fan light should be checked to make sure it is in good condition and operating according to the manufacturers electrical specifications, and the wiring to the switch should be inspected to make sure there are no loose connections.