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Why Is My Light Switch Hot?

When you reach to your light switch to turn it off, only to find that it is hot to the touch, you have a problem. This is not a normal phenomenon, and it indicates that there are serious issues hiding behind your walls. If you don’t get help right away, you could end up facing a serious electrical fire in your home. At John Nugent & Sons, we want to ensure that you are safe, so here are some reasons that you may notice a hot light switch.

1. The Switch Is Overloaded

Just like wall outlets, light switches have a limit on how much power they can handle, and different switches are rated for different levels of power. If you’re asking too much from the wall switch, it can get hot. Most wall switches are rated for 15 amps. However, many circuits are pulling 20 amps. If you are overloading the switch, you have a serious fire risk and need to switch out the switch the handle the appropriate load.

2. The Switch Is Failing

Over time, light switches will wear out. When this happens, a small spark on the electrical contacts will be emitted whenever you turn the light on and off. Soon the contacts won’t meet properly, and electricity will flow more freely, creating heat. Again, this is a fire risk. Replacing old light switches is always a good idea.

3. Faulty Wiring

If the light switch was improperly wired, it will get hot. Loose or broken wires that are still slightly touching will allow the light switch to function. However, the electricity will be forced through a smaller path, and this will create heat. Again, this is a fire risk.

4. Function of Dimmer Switches

Dimmer switches get warm, and this is normal. This is part of the function of these switches. As they dissipate the electricity to brighten or dim the lights, they will get warm. If you think they are getting too warm, you need to call for service and inspection. It is possible to have the first three problems with a dimmer switch.

When to Call for Service

For most of these instances, a hot light switch is a serious risk. If you don’t address the problem, you could end up with an electrical fire. To ensure that your family is safe and protected, call Nugent & Sons at the first sign of a hot light switch. Switching out the switch is easy and inexpensive, and it will help protect your home. Call today to ensure your home is protected.

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