Have you noticed lately that your light switch is hot? This is not a problem you should ignore. Warm light switches often point to an underlying electrical issue that needs immediate attention. The first step to addressing a problem is knowing its cause. To help you diagnose the issue, we have created an outline of why light switches get hot.
Why Is Your Light Switch Warm?
Here are the top four reasons why your light switches get hot.
1. Overloaded Switch
Light switches can only handle so much power before they become overloaded. When a light switch becomes overloaded with power, it can overheat and be hot to the touch. While most light switches can handle no more than 15 amps of power, many electrical circuits use closer to 20 amps of power.
The best way to prevent your light switches from overloading with power is to replace them with switches that have a higher power capacity. A new light switch can keep up with the electrical demand without overheating.
2. Light Switch Failure
Like all other household devices and appliances, light switches will eventually wear out and need to be replaced with new switches. Outdated light switches are more likely to overheat and spark, which is a severe fire risk. If your light switches are past their prime, we caution you to go ahead and replace them. That way you will have peace of mind knowing your house and your family are protected for years to come.
3. Faulty Wiring
When installing a light switch, it’s essential to place and connect the wiring correctly. If your light switch is hot, this is an indicator of loose or damaged wires. This issue can cause your light switch to spark or start a fire. To prevent an electrical hazard in your house, you will want to hire a certified electrician to fix your dangerous wiring.
4. Dimmer Switches
A dimmer switch is a specific type of light switch that allows total control over the level of brightness in a room. While dimmer switches naturally produce more heat than basic light switches, they shouldn’t produce a significant amount of heat.
If you touch your dimmer switches and they seem abnormally hot to the touch, call a professional to take a closer look. It’s possible for dimmer switches to get overloaded with power, have faulty wiring, and fail altogether.
Why Do You Keep Getting Shocked By Your Light Switch?
If you’ve ever been shocked by a light switch, you know it doesn’t feel good. While some shocks are no cause for concern, others occur due to an underlying electrical issue. Here is how to tell the difference between the two so you know what action to take.
- Static electricity: Static electricity that travels between the metal screws on a light switch and your finger can create brief shocks. This often occurs during winter time when the air is dry and in rooms with carpet flooring.
- Outdated light switch: An outdated light switch is at risk of overheating and sparking, which can shock you when you turn it on or off.
- Faulty wiring: Electrical surges in outdated, loose, or damaged wiring are more prone to cause shocks.
- Two-prong outlets: Three-prong outlets are becoming more common in home installations because the third prong offers greater protection against electrical shocks than two-prong outlets.
Electrical Repair and Installation Services
If you notice a warm light switch in your kitchen or bedroom, give our technicians a call at (484) 206-8594 to book an appointment. Our team of emergency electricians in Wayne, PA and other areas will help you replace a damaged light switch in your home. In addition, we offer other types of electrical services such as lighting installation, electrical panel replacement, whole-house generator installation, and ceiling fan replacement. We can handle all your electrical needs promptly and with excellence.