Solution for Sparking Light Switches
Sparking Light Switches: Why You May See a Spark in Your Wall Switch and What to do About It.
Cause and Solution for Sparking Light Switches
[ad#block]Electrical Question: Why do my light switches snap and spark when I turn them on?.
- I have a house and when the light switches are turned on the switch will snap and spark.
- Also the receptacle boxes for lights have burn marks around them.
This electrical question came from: Lee, a Homeowner from Sarnia Ontario, Canada.
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
- The occurrence of a visual spark from inside a light switch is most likely an indication that the light switch is beginning to wear out which may be due to a large electrical circuit load that is passing through the light switch.
- A typical light switch will snap into the On position however there is a fast arc or spark that will occur between the contacts just before the point of contact.
- This spark may be noticeable when switching on a large lighting load such as dual heat lamps of a bathroom ceiling exhaust fan combination fixture.
Burnt Receptacle Outlet
- The description of both a sparking light switch and burnt receptacles may in fact be related to the same problem.
- If the light switch is controlling a receptacle where high amounts of electrical power is being consumed then this is one in the same problem.
- The light switch is sparking due to the large load that is being plugged into the receptacle outlet which is causing a burning effect on the receptacle outlet.
Rated Size of a Light Switch
- In some cases it may be found that the light switch that has been installed is rated for 15 amps and the circuit is rated for 20 amps.
- In most cases one switch will not control a 15 or 20 amp load however where high watt loads are switched it is best to make sure to use a good quality brand light switch that is rated for the circuit amperage.
More about Wiring Light Switches
Wiring a Light Switch – Diagram 1
Fully Explained Light Switch Wiring Diagrams. Detailed Electrical Wiring Diagrams and Pictures assist your Home Electrical Projects.
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.
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
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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.
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,
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.
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?
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.