Common Problems With Light Switches

Elmira Electrical Services: Common Problems With Light Switches

It’s easy to take your home for granted. Take the light switches on the walls of your home. If you’re like most homeowners, you probably don’t give them a second thought until the light doesn’t work. Probably nine times out of ten, when the light doesn’t come on, it’s because the bulb had an issue. It’s that other time that might be the problem.

A malfunctioning light switch is often due to an electrical issue, which is one of the most common reasons for home fires. When a light switch isn’t working, don’t panic. Troubleshoot the problem and make repairs. Contact a professional electrician for residential electrical services to make sure the problem is repaired correctly.

Flickering Lights

A flickering light can be an electrical issue, but it can also mean that the bulb is loose or going bad. Try tightening the light bulb. If that doesn’t fix the issue, it’s likely that there is a loose wire somewhere in the system. If possible, plug the lamp into a different socket to see if there is a problem with the lamp or in the wiring.


It can be disconcerting to see sparks when you turn off the light, but it’s actually a normal thing in electrical currents when the contacts move apart. When the spark is large or loud, or both, it’s time to be concerned. Generally speaking, you probably have a short or other problem in the switch. If you smell or see smoke, you should keep the switch off until this issue can be addressed.


Normally, you shouldn’t hear any noise coming from your light switch. Dimming switches can buzz when the filament in the bulbs vibrate. If you hear any sizzling or popping sounds from the switch, turn it off and get it checked out. It’s probably something simple, a bad switch or loose wire, but it can cause a fire when left unchecked.


Light switches should not be warm, but some dimmer switches may feel warmer than regular ones because of the way they dissipate heat. When the light switch gets warm, it means that the electricity isn’t circulating correctly. Again, turn the switch off to get the problem checked out. It’s a fire hazard that could be problematic.

The Light Switch Doesn’t Come On

If you aren’t getting any light after checking the bulb, check the breaker. It’s possible that the circuit was tripped for some reason. There’s no need to panic if the breaker tripped once, but you may want to get it checked out. If the breaker hasn’t tripped, then it could be mechanical issues in the switch. If there is a delay in the light coming on when you turn the switch, it probably means that the switch is wearing out and needs replacing.

Safety When Dealing With Electrical Issues

Many homeowners can deal with simple electrical issues, but it’s important to have the right tools at your disposal. You’ll want a circuit tester, electrical tape, flathead and Philips screwdrivers, and needle-nose pliers. Take precautions by turning off circuits to the switch. Use protective goggles to protect your eyes. If you aren’t confident in your skills when dealing with electrical issues, schedule an appointment with CJ Brubacher Ltd. for electrical services in Elmira. Our electricians are licensed and insured to handle big and small jobs of all types. We keep your home well-maintained and functional for your family. We offer a free quote so there are no surprises when the job is complete. Think of CJ Brubacher for plumbing services, HVAC repair and more. We’ll come to your home and we even offer 24/7 emergency services.