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Why Aren’t My Light Switches Working?

TechXpert verified by Ken Kontra

Faulty light switches may be caused by a tripped breaker, a loose connection in the circuit, or from a standard wear and tear. Determining whether there’s an issue with the switch itself or the wiring can help you identify which step to take next when troubleshooting a faulty light switch.

Troubleshooting a Faulty Light Switch

Troubleshooting a faulty light switch is a relatively simple task you can complete yourself. But you’ll want to take care, since the switch is connected to electrical wiring and your breaker box. Here are a few reasons that might explain why you can’t seem to flip the switch:

Tripped Breaker

The most common cause for a faulty light switch is a lack of power through the circuit. You can check out your breaker box for a clue: make sure the switch is turned on, and look for any other possible tripped outlets that need to be reset.

Loose Connection

If your house has turned into an unwanted disco of flickering lights, there’s likely a loose connection between the outlet and wiring in the circuit. Before tackling this issue, you’ll want to make sure the power is turned off to the light switch.

Wear and Tear

Your light switches are used on a daily basis throughout your home –– it’s natural for them to wear out and loosen over time, and that can render them pretty unreliable. A simple replacement should do the trick to restore the light.

Hot to the Touch?

If you notice that your light switches are warm when you go to flip them, there’s likely an electrical issue at hand that you’ll want to address right away. There are different types of switches designed to handle different levels of power –– your switch may be dealing with a power overload.

DIY Savvy?

Once you’ve determined the issue with your faulty light switch, it’s possible to replace it yourself with a few tools and specific instructions. However, if you detect issues with the wiring and are unfamiliar with tools and procedures for how to fix your light switch, contact an electrician who can diagnose the issue and replace your switch in no time.

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