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
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
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Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.
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