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Light Switches & Electrical Hazards

A broken light switch mechanism is more serious than a person might believe and can cause severe electrical issues. It is important to recognise if a light switch is broken early to prevent further problems from developing. The Local Electrician offers Emergency Electrician workers to perform safe electrical repairs on broken light switches. 

If there is a broken light switch mechanism then the chance of electrical fires, electrical shock and burns increases. Broken toggles, loose wiring connections, light bulb or fixture issues and poor light switch installations are common reasons for this problem. It is strongly recommended that a qualified electrician repairs the broken light switch over an untrained person.

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What are the Dangers of a Broken Light Switch?

If a light switch is broken and is not repaired then this can lead to hazards and dangerous situations. The main types of concerns which come with a broken light switch are:

  • Electrocution – the light socket which is loose will move around more easily which will put stress and strain on the wires. It will cause the wires of the light switch to experience wear and tear, causing them to fray or be damaged. If a person touches the light switch they could receive an electric shock. This is due to the electricity incorrectly flowing in the wire. If the grounding system is not connected properly this chance of electrocution will increase. 
  • Electrical Fires – with the wires exposed and insulation not protecting the wires then the chance of them overheating increases. House fires can occur as the heat generated from the exposed wire could lead to nearby structures overheating. From the wires sparking to timber closeby becoming too hot, fires can start easily.
  • Burns – a person can become burned if the switch is broken. This can be from the high amounts of electricity running through the switch causing an electrical burn. A fire starting from the light switch or if the switch is extremely hot, are ways a person can be burnt. 

Our article electrical fires – everything you need to know provides more detail on how electrical fires start and how to prevent them.

How Does a Light Switch Break?

There are multiple different ways a light switch can become broken which can lead to potential electrical hazards. The most common ways light switches break are:

  • Broken Toggle or Dimmer – if the toggle or dimmer breaks on the switch it is often from years of wear and tear. This can lead to the lights being hard to switch on or dim due to the mechanism not working. The loose toggle or dimmer might also lead to the wires being damaged which could lead to potential problems.
  • Poor Connections – the wiring behind the switch could be the cause for it not working correctly. This is often due too corroded contractors from carbon build up or from loose terminal screws where the wires are not properly positioned. This will often make buzzing noises and have wires make contact with each other when they should not be. The terminal screw could loosen causing the wires to disconnect and also overheat. 
  • Light Fixture – if a light or light fixture was incorrectly installed then this can be the reason why the light switch is broken. A loose wire in the terminal screw of a wire connecting the light to the switch is faulty could be the cause. Corroded contractors are another cause for the lighting fixture of flicker and have the switch to be warm.

For more information on the top causes of flickering lights, our blog article provides further details.

How Can I Tell if my Light Switch is Broken?

At times it is easy to know if the light switch is broken or experiencing issues but other times it is more hidden. To identify if there is an issue with the light switch look for these signs:

  • Cover is Cracked or Broken – a visible sign that the switch is broken is that the cover plate has a crack or is broken. These will often not influence the electrical side of the light switch but they do also protect people from the wires behind. If the cover is broken then replacing it as soon as possible is encouraged to prevent people from touching wires. 
  • Flickering Lights – lights which flicker on and off when the light switch is touched means the switch has loose connections. Installing new switches and connecting the wires to the new switch is needed.
  • Buzzing Noises – noises, such as buzzes, clicks or pops, that come from the switch is a warning sign. When these noises occur when the lights are turned on then the internal components of the switch are broken. The switch and the wires will all need replacing as these noises could develop to worse conditioners. 
  • Warm Light Switch – a light switch which is warm to touch is a clear sign that there is an issue. The switch should not be warm so when it is then wires could be defected behind. Warm plates should never be overlooked as this could lead to potential fires and shocks.

Sparks – any type of sparking which comes from the switch is never good and should be dealt with by an emergency electrician immediately. Sparks can cause fires and other serious issues and a professional would always repair the concern.  The last thing anyone wants is their expensive chandeliers sparking up or getting damaged.

Do I Need an Electrician to Replace a Light Switch?

The Local Electrician strongly encourages that a professional and fully qualified repairs a broken light switch mechanism. This issue can be highly dangerous and if an untrained person tries to repair the wires and connections it could lead to serious complications. Our team are ready to work at any time of the day and resolve a broken light switch mechanism.

Each emergency electrician will operate in all buildings and any area in Sydney, from the North Shore to Sutherland Shire. We also offer Sydney with reliable Level 2 Electrician workers to perform any advanced work throughout the suburbs.

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When needing an electrician to fix a broken light switch mechanism – call The Local Electrician any time on 0439 823 190!

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Our skilled electricians are qualified to carry out any electrical repair or installation within Sydney. We strive to deliver absolute customer satisfaction by offering electrical services that are affordable, safe and long lasting.

Hamish Baker