I am wondering if this is normal. I can see flashes of light sometimes
when I flick on various light switches around the house. It's
intermitent but most noticeable at night when there is little light in
the room. I am nervous this is going to start a fire. Spoke with the
developer they said it's normal. Any thoughts?
This has to be a troll. Even the worst arc wouldn't be visible with a
switchplate in place.
But just in case it isn't; no, a significant arc when using a switch isn't
normal. It will eventually cause damage or fire.
I think God is talking to you. Pay close attention to the lights and
you will understand what he is saying.
No, it's visible through the lever part of ivory colored switches,
especially if it is dark in the room and the switch turns on something
that is not a light or something in the other room. Would God do
this if no one could see it?
It is normal and as long as the arcing stays within the housing of the
switch it is also safe. Better switches than the cheapest "contractor
grade" have a better chance of not arcing but it still can happen because
thats what electricity does when a circuit is closed when a load is
connected. I bet it dosen't happen on switches that go to receptacles where
nothing is plugged in right now.
Now if it were a loud pop and the light flickered, then I would say go ahead
and replace the effected switches because the contacts have eroded due to
too much arcing.
It is normal. All standard wall switches under load will cause an arc when
making and breaking. In most cases it's small and not noticeable. If its
hissing , crackling,or sparks coming out of the switch body, then change the
Question: How old is your house?
If it was built in the 70's you might be dealing with aluminum wire.
You could also be dealing with aluminum wire and a light switch rated
for copper, instead of switch with a CO/ALR or the older Al/Cu rating.
Aluminum wire is notorious for loosening because of the warm-cool
cycles with use. If the connections loosen sufficiently they will arc,
and in some cases (like in our bedroom) quite spectacularly.
Aluminum isn't going to make any difference with switch contact arcing.
Minor, sometimes visible (especially when dark at particular
angles) arcing is normal.
_All_ mechanical switches arc. The real question is "how much?"
Seeing it "through" some of the plastic isn't altogether abnormal either -
depends on the plastic.
If you can hear more than a slight snap, or makes prolonged noises/sizzles
etc, produces any visible smoke or smells of ozone, replace it.
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
It\'s not just anyone who gets a Starship Cruiser class named after them.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.