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Old 03-01-2009, 02:01 PM   #1
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light switch with cracking/popping


I have several light switches that have a small but noticable cracking sound of an arc when I turn them on. I have eliminated loose connections as the cause. Is this a hazard to be replaced immediately or at some point will the switch just stop working?

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Old 03-01-2009, 02:12 PM   #2
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light switch with cracking/popping


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I have several light switches that have a small but noticable cracking sound of an arc when I turn them on. I have eliminated loose connections as the cause. Is this a hazard to be replaced immediately or at some point will the switch just stop working?
If you can tease the switch slowly open and prolong the arc sound I think they are bad switches that have lost their "snap action."
Motor loads should make the worst arcs.


Last edited by Yoyizit; 03-01-2009 at 02:20 PM.
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Old 03-01-2009, 02:15 PM   #3
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light switch with cracking/popping


I would consider replacing them. The sound may be normal when the switch first makes contact, especially when it's turned on softly or under significant load.

Maybe consider getting some good quality switches vs 39 cent ones.
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Old 03-01-2009, 02:20 PM   #4
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light switch with cracking/popping


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I would consider replacing them. The sound may be normal when the switch first makes contact, especially when it's turned on softly or under significant load.

Maybe consider getting some good quality switches vs 39 cent ones.
I agree, if the switch sounds like it's popping or sizzling, I would replace them. Even the good quality switches are only a couple bucks a piece.
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Old 03-01-2009, 02:24 PM   #5
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light switch with cracking/popping


Radio noise gives a measure of arcing.
An AM radio tuned between stations and held near the switch should give some relative indication of the arcs from a known good switch compared to the ones you have.
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Old 03-01-2009, 05:15 PM   #6
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light switch with cracking/popping


Thanks.

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