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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    9

    Default light switch won't turn off

    hi,
    last night my bathroom light switch stopped working. it is a single switch, to one light.
    when it broke, it started with meeting resistance half way down when i went to turn it off. now it will not turn off unless i get it in just the right spot, at about the halfway point of off/on. i do hear a little electrical sound when i'm trying to get it to turn off.
    my questions are:
    is this a fire hazard?

    this seems like something i could easily fix myself. I have done some minor electrical stuff, but i live alone and am home sick.
    so can it wait until i can get to the hardware store or is this critical?
    Would it be easy to take a working switch from another room until i can get a new one?
    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    4,045

    Default Re: light switch won't turn off

    Caltex ... you will be better of replacing the wall switch.
    To say it's a hazard ... sure ... how much at this time is unknown.

    By your description it can have a tendency to overheat which is a hazard. How long before anything was to happen .... anytime.

    They are not usually serviceable to try and repair.

    Hope this helps.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,789

    Default Re: light switch won't turn off

    This is a pretty common failure scenario for snap switches. One of the pivot points on the contact blade wears or breaks. This allows the contact blade to shift to the side and the actuator on the switch then contacts the return spring causing the friction you mentioned and the contact blade is only slightly moved from the stationary contact thus sparking. The switch is not reparable and will need to be replaced. do not use the switch any more the arcing is a fire hazard.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  4. #4
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    Aug 2007
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    Default Re: light switch won't turn off

    Jack ... our posts were too short and simple . We must have overlooked something like consulting with the people from UL or the NEC or ensuring to have a HazMat team on site.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    980

    Default Re: light switch won't turn off

    and for goodness sake don't forget the protective gear.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Default Re: light switch won't turn off

    Geez ... you're right ... can't forget that.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    6,963

    Default Re: light switch won't turn off

    Quote Originally Posted by DwarfWytch View Post
    After reviewing your other posts ...


    It's amazing how ridiculously difficult some people can make even the most simple of things.


    Switch, as described, is obviously faulty and shouldn't be used until it can be replaced.

    Original Poster says that they are sick and can't leave the house (extrapolated from the OP saying, "am home sick so can it wait until i can get to the hardware store " and asks about swapping in another switch UNTIL they can get a new one. The answer is yes, you can do that.

    Safety precaution! De-energize the circuit before working on the switch as well as the circuit from which the "borrowed" switch comes from. Label and cap the wires from the borrowed switch, carefully fold them back into the box and replace the switch plate. Install the borrowed switch in the bathroom and re-energize. When you can get to the hardware store for a new switch, please do so and remedy the "borrowed" switch location ASAP, following the aforementioned safety precaution.
    Last edited by A. Spruce; 12-03-2007 at 01:11 AM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Posts
    666

    Default Re: light switch won't turn off



    Maybe wear some arc flash protection while changing the switch?
    It appears some would lead to believe this was required...LOL!

    Okay, here's my take on it.

    1. Turn power off.
    2. Replace switch wire for wire with a new switch.
    3. Turn power back on.
    4. Hope you're feeling better.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    6,963

    Default Re: light switch won't turn off

    Quote Originally Posted by kentvw View Post

    Okay, here's my take on it.

    1. Turn power off.
    2. Replace switch wire for wire with a new switch.
    3. Turn power back on.
    4. Hope you're feeling better.
    Shouldn't it be:
    1. Hope you're feeling better.
    2. Turn power off.
    3. Replace switch wire for wire with a new switch.
    4. Turn power back on.


    caltex - we really do hope you're feeling better.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,789

    Default Re: light switch won't turn off

    Don't forget to call the USGS to make sure there's no faults directly under the house.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

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