light switch - Tim Kyle

Diagnosing a Troublesome Light Switch

A light switch is a natural part of any room, and it endures daily wear and tear. So what do you do if one fails to turn the lights on? Here are several checks to take to test its functionality.

Light Switch Home Safety Checks

Homeowners can quickly check whether a switch needs replacement by completing the following checks:

  • Remove the existing bulb and insert a new bulb before flipping the switch. If the light does not turn on, the switch may need to be fixed.
  • If the light tends to flicker, the switch needs to be replaced.
  • If you hear crackles or pops, the switch must be changed.
  • When it feels warm or emits a brief spark, immediately call an expert.

A homeowner can also use a multimeter to test the light switch. Turn off the circuit breaker, then measure the Ohm or continuity with the multimeter. Establish whether the switch has three poles or one. Test the single pole switch which will have two terminals with screws, with a possible ground screw close to either end of the terminal. Connect the lead of the multimeter to both sides of the terminal and turn it on. If the reading shows a 1, the light switch is fine.

The three-pole switch will be indicated by two typical or normal terminals or travelers, and one common terminal that has a dark screw. Connect the lead of the multimeter to the common or dark screw and one of the normal terminals. Turn on the equipment switch to check the reading which will indicate a 1 if it is safe.

Any reading other than 1 means that the light switch must be changed. In this case, contact your expert Baltimore County MD electrician.

Tim Kyle Electric, Heating & Cooling: Baltimore County MD Electrician

At Tim Kyle Electric, Heating & Cooling, we give 100% to every light bulb change, just as we do to a remodeling or rewiring project. We use only high-quality, contractor-grade materials. Plus, we have a 100% satisfaction guarantee for our residential electrical services. Contact us today to learn more about our services. No job is too small.

Share this post

Skip to content