Home Improvement

How To Fix A Broken Light Switch (Without An Electrician)

This 2021, people are getting more interested in becoming self-sustaining. To do this, there are now many DIY hacks that beginners can do, especially on doing home repairs.

When it comes to repairing issues at home, electrical problems with light fixtures and switches are common. Once a switch stops working, the problem can come from the light or device plugged in. These problems are easy to DIY, but sometimes, it could be the light switch toggle itself.

If you’re dealing with a switch toggle issue, it can be dangerous to handle yourself. However, it’s not impossible. Here are some of our top tips on how to handle a broken light switch.

Safety Measures To Do Before Repairing A Broken Light Switch

Before you fix or install outlets or switches inside your home, you need to ensure your safety. Always keep in mind not to take any risks with electrical issues. It’s crucial to follow the necessary safety precautions when starting your projects.

One of the things you need to do is to make sure all the main power of the fuse box gets turned off. Keep in mind to separate the circuit you’re going to repair by taking out the circuit fuse. You can also switch off your breaker and lock it if possible.

Make a thorough inspection to see if the circuit’s dead using a socket tester. This allows you to confirm if your circuit is safe to work on. After you’re done with any light switch repair, you can check all your work using your socket tester.

Always ensure that all products you use follow the local building regulations. You can also get suggestions from a certified electric professional.

Aside from that, be careful in handling multi-way switches. Because the controlled lights draw power from the same circuit, wrong wiring can be dangerous. This means that there can be live cables in each switch position when one circuit gets isolated.

Light Switch Repair: Fixing It Yourself

Most people who see a broken light switch relate it first to a busted light bulb. Once they check further, they find that it can either be a grounded circuit or the toggle switch itself. To start your DIY repairs on a broken light switch, here are the things you need to do.

See If The Circuit Breaker Flipped Or If There’s A Blown Fuse

You’ll know if you’re encountering this problem when you turn on the switch and hear a popping sound. Go to the electrical service panel and look for your home’s breaker or fuse.

If there are no visible issues with the breaker, flip it on and off. Once you check on the switch and hear no more sounds, it means everything’s good. If there are no changes, that means that there are still faulty lines.

In case of a blown fuse, the best way to resolve it is by replacing it.

Change The Light Bulb

If you’ve finished inspecting the breaker or fuse and find no problems with it, the problem might be your light bulb. To repair a light switch issue about light bulbs, you need to observe whether the light flickers or not.

A flickering light means a loose bulb, which means the bulb isn’t installed right. To fix that, tighten the bulb to the socket. If the flickering continues, you may be facing an issue with the lamp’s settings.

Otherwise, if everything’s okay and the lights are still off, it means that you’ll have to replace the light bulb. The problem can be from a busted light bulb or if you installed a light with the wrong wattage.

Check And Feel and Listen For Any Heat And Buzzing

Sometimes, you may feel your switch hot to the touch or even hear a low-level buzz when you turn the light switches on. This is often the case when you have fluorescent lights. However, this may not be a good sign for light fixtures that use common light bulbs.

Any heat or misplaced buzzing sound can mean a serious issue about wirings. When that happens, it’s best that you act on it as soon as possible. Switch off the light switch and go to the breaker.

Flip the breaker off or remove the fuse before contacting your local electric professional.

Replace The Toggle Switch

A broken light switch can also occur if the toggle switch gets damaged. This often happens with aged light switches. To avoid this problem, you should update your fittings once they reach more than a decade.

Light switches last for an average of 20 years. They can also be of use for a longer period of thirty years. However, wrong or insufficient maintenance can kill off its lifespan.

If you notice any issues with your light switch, it’ll be better to replace them at once. Make sure that when you do, write down the wiring method used in the lights before you disconnect them. After that, wire your new light switch the same way.

It’s also better if you keep hold of the original screws from your old light switch. That way, you can re-use them since many modern fittings have metric-sized screws. Old light switches have imperial threads that you can rarely find these days.

Updating or replacing your light switch can also give you the chance to add other switches like dimmer switches.

Dimmer switches are great for adding instant mood lighting to a room. Not only that but they’re also good at saving energy. A dimmer switch lowers your light bulb’s brightness and makes it go longer.

Keep in mind that a compact fluorescent light (CFL) doesn’t work well with dimmers. They’re best to add if you have LED lights or use halogen incandescent in your light fixtures.

A Definitive DIY Repairs Guide For A Broken Light Switch

One of the best ways to be self-sustaining is to get skilled with home repairs. Being able to make DIY repairs inside your home will help lessen home costs. To repair a broken light switch, it’s best to know the possible causes.

Are you looking for more DIY solutions to your house problems? Don’t stop here! Check out our other blog posts for more great tips.


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