Faulty light switches are not just a nuisance. Switches that aren’t working properly can be an electrical or fire risk as well. Call your electrician right away if your light switch stops working correctly.
Light switches are usually relatively easy for a professional to fix. Most switches take about an hour for an electrician to repair. You should call a professional if your switch:
- Shows any signs of burnt wiring
- Smells like smoke
- Sends sparks flying at any time
- Doesn’t turn on and off properly
Here’s what your electrician will do when it’s time to fix a switch. It’s important to leave the repairs to a licensed professional. Wires can shock you or catch on fire if you handle them without the right tools and training. Your electrician will use insulated tools and wear the right safety gear.
1. Check the Circuit
The first thing your electrician will do is check the circuit. He will almost always start at the breaker box. Light switches have a few problems that will keep them from working properly. No matter what the issue is, your electrician needs to find out if the switch has power. Professionals will often turn the circuit on and off a few times. They also might check the wiring attached to each circuit breaker.
2. Remove the Switch Plate and Components for Inspection
Your electrician will then need to test and inspect the wiring inside the plate. They will remove the plate to do this. The electrician might need to remove the actual switch and the wiring from the wall in some cases. A recessed box holds all of the components inside the wall. You will see the box and wires come out of the wall for a little bit with some repair jobs.
Your electrician will use electrical pliers and other specialty tools to check the power to the switch.
3. Remove Any Faulty Parts
Broken switches often have wires that are burned. This can be due to age, issues with the circuit, previous installation problems, or other things. Wiring should also be removed if it is broken, losing its electrical capacity, or loose. The electrician will check the connecting nuts, electrical screws, and other wiring components. Any damaged components will be removed.
The mechanisms inside the actual switch may break at times. People usually simply replace the switch. If the issue is very small, your electrician may take the switch mechanism apart and fix it. You might also need to have him replace the switch components and the recessed box if your power needs have changed. People sometimes wear out their circuits early as they add appliances or renovate. Adding more power or a different wiring setup can mean installing a new switch.
Be sure to tell your electrician about any smart home features you have attached to your light switch. Let them know if you use both the smart home app and the physical switch so they can make the right repairs.
Check the Voltage and Look for Additional Issues
Electricians use voltage testers and reliable testing methods to make sure they know what’s going on with your wiring. They will usually take a voltage tester out for assessments at the switch and a few other places. They may disconnect and reconnect a few wires in different places to thoroughly investigate.
5. Install New Parts Using Secure Connections
The electrician will then securely install wiring, check all screws, fasten any nuts, and retest the circuit. Most switches have three or four major wires along with a few internal electrical screws. If nothing is wrong with wiring inside the wall, your switch will likely be fixed in about an hour.
Some switches will have problems after the wires are repaired. Your electrician may recommend that you have the wiring inside the wall checked at this stage. You might also need to have your light fixtures repaired or replaced if problems persist.
Expert Help Is Always Best
Putnam Service offers electrical outlet and panel repair, whole-home wiring, ceiling fan repair, and more to local customers. We serve the Charlotte, NC metro area from our headquarters in Moorseville. We have additional locations in South Carolina and Florida. We also offer a full range of HVAC repair and installation services.
Call Putnam Service today for more information!