Why Is My Light Switch Sparking?

An outstretched hand turning on a light switch.

When it comes to the electrical system in your home, you expect everything to work without a hitch. For example, you immediately expect your phone to start charging when you plug the charger into an outlet. You also expect a room to go from dim to bright the moment you switch on the light.

However, you may one day experience something out of the ordinary. For instance, you might turn on the light one morning — and notice a strange spark as you do so. If this is the case for you, it’s understandable if you feel worried. The word “spark” makes many people immediately think of a fire hazard. It’s only natural that you want to learn what causes a light switch to spark and how you can fix it ASAP.

So, why is your light switch sparking? We’ll answer this question below.

Believe It or Not, Sparking Can Be Normal

If you want to know what causes a light switch to spark, it’s important to start by saying that this occurrence isn’t always something that you should be worried about. In fact, a small spark can be completely normal.

When you turn on a light switch, you may notice a small spark as a result of the electricity attempting to leap from one contact to another. This is known as a “load arc.”

Of course, you should also be wary of any large sparks or additional problems — as these can be a matter of concern.

However, Sparking Can Also Be Cause For Concern

There are several potential reasons why your light switch is sparking. Although this occurrence can be normal, it’s important to be aware of the fact that it can also signify that it’s time to replace your light switch.

Keep an eye out for scorch marks, snapping sounds, or visible signs of smoking. In most cases, these problems — when combined with sparking — will indicate that your light switch has become faulty.

When it comes down to it, there’s a chance that the light switch has simply worn out. If you want to know why your light switch is sparking, consider the possibility that the switch has reached the end of its service life. Get in touch with a residential electrician in Little Rock as soon as possible so that they can perform a professional replacement.

Additional Signs of a Bad Light Switch

Now that you know what causes a light switch to spark, you might want to know what other signs can indicate that it’s time to replace your light switches. All-in-all, the answer to this question can vary depending on what kind of switch you have.

A hand flicking on a standard lighting switch.

Standard Toggle Switch

When you turn on a toggle switch, it should always feel cold. If you find that the light switch is warm to the touch, this is often a common sign that it’s going bad. Also keep a record of if and when your light flickers, as this can also be traced back to a faulty switch.

You’ll also want to listen for any sounds that are out of the ordinary. These noises can include crackling or buzzing; when you hear these sounds, there’s a good chance that electricity is arcing inside the switch. It’s important to address this problem immediately, as these noises can indicate that a fire hazard is present.

A dimmer switch.

Dimmer Switch

It’s fairly normal for dimmer switches to be warm to the touch. However, if the switch feels hot to an excessive degree, this is certainly cause for concern and can indicate that you should replace the switch.

If you think your dimmer switch might be at the end of its life, watch out for any strange sounds. In some instances, buzzing can suggest that you need to use a different type of light bulb. All you have to do in this specific situation is choose a new type of light bulb. However, in other cases, these unexpected noises can signal that your dimmer switch should be replaced.

Upgrade Your Light Switches With Staley Electric!

If you’ve handled small home improvement projects throughout your home, you might be tempted to replace the faulty light switch yourself. However, it’s important to remember that light switches have many parts, including ground wires and terminal screws. If you’ve never worked with these electrical components, the smartest and safest option is to turn to a professional electrician for the job instead.

Now that you have a better understanding of why your light switch is sparking, contact the professional team at Staley Electric. Whether you need an electrician for generators, wire connections, or faulty light switches, rest assured that our experts can provide you with a dependable solution.

If you think you need your light switch replaced, we’re happy to help. Our professional electricians know what causes a light switch to spark and can fix the problem without delay. We’re proud to provide light switch repairs in Little Rock, AR, or the surrounding area today!

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Staley Electric Services, LLC, Electrician, Little Rock, AR
Staley Electric Services, LLC, Electrician, Little Rock, AR