Modern electricity is a convenience you probably don’t think about often. You walk into your home, flip the light switch, your lights turn on, and you continue with your day. When your light switch doesn’t work correctly, it can quickly turn a minor inconvenience into a significant problem.
Working on your own light switches is possible, but it’s crucial to be safe. Whenever you’re working with electricity, there’s a risk. Some risks are minimal, and the repair could be DIYed. Other repairs have more significant risks and should be completed by a professional electrician from Kolb Electric.
Here are some common signs that something is wrong with your light switch:
- Lights don’t turn on
- Lights take a while to turn on
- Lights flicker or make popping sounds
- New bulbs don’t solve the problem
Inspect the Switch and Light Fixture
The first step in fixing the wiring in your switch or light fixture is to inspect them. Make sure you check the plugs and surrounding areas.
If you notice anything unusual, like burned or scorched extensions or wall plates, it’s a sign that something is wrong with your electrical wiring.
Make sure you check that the lightbulbs are all installed correctly and tightly.
Check Your Circuit Breaker
The next step in fixing your wiring is to check your circuit breaker. To check it, look to see which direction is “on.” Typically, on is on the right side of the switches.
Your switches that are in use should all be on. The appliances that are not in use should be off. When a circuit is tripped, the switch moves off the on position. But it doesn’t go to the off position either.
Look to see if one of your circuit breaker switches has been tripped. If it has, move the switch back to the on position. Then, check to see if your light switches and fixtures are working.
Check the Wire Connections
Sometimes wires become loose in both light fixtures and light switches. If your lights are not working correctly, you should also check that the wiring is secure.
Also, look for these common wiring errors:
- Wires joined with electrical tape rather than a wire connector
- Two or more wires connected under one screw terminal
- Loose wire connections
You must rewire the connection using the proper wire connector to solve these problems. Make sure you’ve turned the power off before you begin!
Remove the Cover Plate and Test for Power
You may also need to check the switch and light fixture to fix the wiring in light switches. You need to make sure the electricity is getting to the switch.
To check the switch, you’ll need a multimeter. A multimeter is a tool that measures electricity levels. With the light switch in the “off” position, connect the multimeter probe to the ends of the switch screw terminal. Once it’s attached, turn the light switch into the “on” position. The multimeter will give you a reading of the electrical current in the button. If no electricity goes to the switch, there will be no reading.
As you work on your electrical switches, do not touch the wires! They can still be live, and you could get shocked and hurt.
If All Else Fails
If you’ve worked on fixing the wiring in your light switches, and they’re still not working, it’s time to call a seasoned, professional electrician to help you.
The electricians at Kolb Electric will inspect, diagnose, and repair your light switches and light fixtures, so you and your family can live in your home normally. With our emergency electrical services, we’ll quickly solve any electrical emergency you have.
Trust your Maryland, Virginia, or DC home to the area’s electrical experts. Contact Kolb Electric at 877-287-1179 or contact us online to schedule your appointment today!