You don’t have to be an electrician to appreciate if you flip a light switch and nothing happens, there is something wrong. It doesn’t always mean the light switch is bad, if it was working fine and suddenly stopped, then there is a reason. Even if you are not experienced with home repair or dealing with wiring, there are ways you can determine the cause of your light switch not working. The first thing to do is to turn off the power at the fuse box circuit for the switch. The next step would be to remove the light switch cover to allow you to inspect the wiring and switch. Be sure to test the wires with a tester to guarantee there is no power flowing through them. Here are five ways you can try to fix the problem of a short in a light switch.
- Double Checking Switches. Before you spend too much time checking out that switch, the first thing you should do is determine if that switch is part of a series of switches. In a series of switches, one will not work if another one is turned off. This happens with some homes where the person installing the wiring and switches felt there needed to be more than one switch controlling the power to the rest. It at least is a recommended step before moving on to any additional investigation.
- Check For Loose Connections. This is a very common problem with switches. Examine the wires to the light switch to be sure they are attached and not loose. Make sure the screws are tightened properly that hold the wires in place. If they are not, it can be enough to interfere with the light turning on.
- Examine The Wires. Look at the wires and see if they are frayed or the ends are nicked or damaged in some way. If they are damaged, it can prevent them from carrying the current adequately. All you need to do is trim the wire about half of an inch, to reattach it with a secure connection.
- Make Sure Bare Wire Isn’t Touching The Box. If the wire has been exposed due to a break in the covering and is touching the outlet box then it will prevent the switch from working. When wires are bare and touching the box, it can trip the circuit breaker or blow a fuse. It is easy to cover the bare spot with electrician’s tape, or if necessary, to replace the wire if it seems too damaged.
- Replace The Switch. Switches do wear out like any part. They can break and stop working. If there appears to be no other problem, then replacing the switch may be the best alternative. Removing the old switch involves simply disconnecting the wires and unscrewing it from the outlet box.
If you have any questions about this light switch repair, you can consult your local hardware store or home improvement center. You can also invest in a do-it-yourself book for home repairs. Fixing a light switch is a simple repair project that most people can do with just a little instruction and time. Normally, it isn’t a repair that will take a great deal of time ,or be very expensive.