ask the electrician
Electrician Training Electrical Certification wiring recessed light fixtures Electrical Wiring Electrical Troubleshooting and Electrical Repairs wire outdoor light fixture Home Electrical Wiring Diagrams
wiring home generator and transfer switch wiring a 220 volt range cord outlet Wiring for GFCI Outlets Wiring Outlets and a Switched Outlet Wiring and Installing Ceiling Fans and Remote Controls wire dimmer switch wiring diagrams for switches wiring a dryer cord and 220 outlet circuit breaker panel
Electrical Wire and Cable

Testing A Light Switch

How to Use Electrical Testers to Test a Light Switch – A switch can be tested using a ohm meter continuity tester or a voltage tester.

Electrical Wiring Video

How to Wire a GFCI Outlet without a Ground Wire

NOTE: A List of All my Helpful Videos

Will Display at the End of This Video

So Keep Watching So I Can Help You Wire it Right!

Check out my YouTube Channel, and Subscribe!

How To Know If A Light Switch Is Bad

[ad#block]Electrical Question: How would you know if a light switch was bad?

This electrical wiring question came from: Bob, a Homeowner from Surf City, NC

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical repair question Bob.

Using Electrical Testers to Test a Light Switch

Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools and Voltage Tester.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience and ability to work with tools.
Precaution: Identify the light circuit, turn it OFF and  Tag it with a Note before working with the wiring.

Hey Bob, I thought Surf City was in California? Well anyway – if your light does not go on, and you know your light bulbs are good, and everything else is working OK then you just might have a bad switch.
A switch can be tested using a ohm meter continuity tester or a voltage tester. If you do not get a reading with either test then the switch will need to be replaced.

Using electrical testers
Electrical Safety and Voltage Testers
When working on home electrical wiring, quality 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.

The Following will assist you with your light switch electrical repair:

Light Switch Wiring
Light Switch Wiring
Wiring a Light Switch – Diagram 1
Fully explained pictures and wiring diagrams about wiring light switches describing the most common switches starting with photo diagram 1.

The following may also be helpful for you:

Electrical Wiring Video #2

Home Electrical Wiring Videos about this Topic and More

Check out my YouTube Channel, and Subscribe!

Learn more with my Home Electrical Video Course:

Basic Home Electrical Wiring by Example

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.

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

More articles about Electrical Repair, Light Switch and Home Electrical Wiring:
« Previous Next »
How to Install Ceiling Fans The Basics of a Home Solar Power Design

FAQs Frequently Asked Questions and Comments

2 Responses to “Testing A Light Switch”
  1. Bill A says:

    I am only getting about 79 to 80 volts at the light switch connector. It runs my vent fan in bath. This fan worked fine up until a few weeks ago. I replaced the switch, same problem. can you help ?

  2. Dave Rongey says:

    Bill, this usually indicates that one leg of the wiring has been lost, typically the neutral. This calls for testing to identify the location, then repairing of the most likely burnt wiring. I advise locating a qualified electrician.