The older your home and your light switches get, the more problems you'll potentially have to deal with. If any of these three common signs of decay are apparent with one of your light switches, it's imperative that you get an electrician to look at the switch.
There's A Visible Crack In The Wall Anywhere Near The Switch
Even if there's nothing wrong with the interior of the light switch itself, a weak surrounding wall could mean that it's in danger of falling out. In the worst case, a shifting light switch could grind down or sever the wires its connected to, significantly increasing the complexity of any repair job.
Before the damage progresses this far, get an electrician to look at both the light switch itself and any crack in the nearby wall. Even if the electrician finds something in the outlet hole that needs to be rectified, you'll be working to prevent a significantly bigger electrical problem in the future.
The Switch Gradually Starts Sagging Back To The Off Position After You Turn It On
An older switch has a much harder time staying right on its up position because of both gravity and the switch's decaying internal parts. Luckily, a typical household switch can take quite a bit of sagging before it becomes completely incapable of letting power flow consistently to a ceiling light.
Therefore, you only really have to be worried when sagging comes gradually instead of all at once. Regardless of the amount of time it takes for the switch to finally turn off again because of sagging, the problem will only get worse and worse if you ignore it.
You Can Hear Sparks When You Put Your Ear Right Up Against The Switch
When the switch is facing the exact midway point between its on and off positions, the light it's connected to it will dim and and you'll hear sparks behind it. Though you shouldn't leave the switch in this position long enough to notice, you'll eventually sense a burning smell coming out of the outlet.
When the switch is in its on or off positions, you definitely shouldn't be hearing sparks. So even if you have to put your ear right up against the outlet before you hear something abnormal, an electrician should be the first thing you think about.
You mot think about a simple light switch as the cause of major electrical problems in a house, but in some cases, they can be. Keep your home safe by calling a pro if you ever notice any of these problems.