Weird Electrical Question

I hope someone can help me with this weird situation.
Recently Ive started having problems with the wall switches in my basement. All of a sudden they've stopped working. On the dual switch circuit, if I jiggle the switches it sometimes it works and sometimes doesn't. On the single switch circuit, I unwired the switch and connected the wires directly and it all worked fine. This has happened on two different basement circuits so far.
This summer our area has been hit by a lot of short power outtages. Im thinking that this may have something to do with it. But Im unsure b/c so far it seems limited to the basement area of the house.
Anyone have any thoughts? I would appreciate any advice. Hopefully I wont have to keep buying and replacing switches indefinitely.
Thanks. snipped-for-privacy@xxxhotmail.com (remove xxx to reply directly)
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It seems obvious that this is a bad switch.

One is an exception, two is a coincidence, three is a trend. You can't draw conclusions based on two events; you sound like somthing extensive is hppening but it is only 2 circuits.

You post does not indicate that you have ever replaced any switches. Did you put in a new swich and thn have the same thing happen?
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I just finished replacing the single switch and now that seems to work perfectly. Ill tackle the other 2 switches later this week. Just wanted to make sure that this wasnt a sign of some faulty and potentially dangerous wiring problem in my house.

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wrote:

Well, it is. But luckily, it appears to be all switch related. Buy a box of commercial grade switches, replace all of them and don't use the backstab method. Might want to check the outlets as well, if they were wired at the same time with the same grade materials.
Jeff
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<< I unwired the switch and connected the wires directly and it all worked fine >>
If you have back-wired bargain class switches, simply replace the lot for safety's sake. Newer (pricier) back stabbers are supposed to be better at clampng the wires. If you have aluminum wiring (rare these days) plan for a copper upgrade. Good luck.
Joe
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Why not BEFORE starting your inspection?
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In alt.home.repair on Sun, 24 Aug 2003 15:37:00 GMT jim

I'm glad you're all right. I don't think an expensive welder would have used any less electricity than a cheap one. At any rate it didn't use any more than the circuit breaker allowed. If loose screws were the problem, maybe they need to be tightened more, or maybe a better quality receptacle needs to be used.
Bad connections will cause heat. This could include wires attached to the receptacle with loose screws, loose clips that grip the prongs inside the receptacle, and even a bad connection inside the plug of the appliance.
Enough heat and you can start a fire. In 1980, I had an 1100 watt heater plugged in the receptacle from 1930. I woke up to look at the wall and see flames about an inch and a half high from the plug, burning the hard rubber plug. I pulled out the cord and hit the plug on the floor a couple times until the flame went out.
Check early, before everything is hot, and you can tell if the plug is getting hot first or the receptacle
Good connections remain cold. If one of the posts on your car battery is hot and the other cold, it doesn't mean the first one is working and the second is dead. It means the first has a bad connection between the post and the battery cable.
Meirman
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Change domain to erols.com, if necessary.
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