Slight Crackling/popping Sound In Wall Switch - Electrical - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

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Old 08-06-2010, 09:23 PM   #1
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Slight crackling/popping sound in wall switch

While turning on the porch light this evening, when I hit the switch I heard a slight sizzle/crackling sound in the wall switch. I hit the switch several more times to listen and it did it pretty much every time. I removed the wall plate and inspected it. I saw no burn marks or smelled anything. I also hit the switch in the dark with the wall plate off to see if I saw any sparks and such and didn't see any.
Is the crackling sound for a second normal sometimes. I remember hearing sounds like this from time to time in various switches over the years in this house and my past house and always wondered if this is a possible hazard? Mostly the switches have just made a slight popping sound very quickly, but this switch sizzled and popped slightly longer than what I have heard in the past.

Any input on this?


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Old 08-06-2010, 10:09 PM   #2
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Usually a bad internal contact. I've had some old switches do it, but even seen new decora style switches do it, when clicked on slowly. Probably advisable to change it if it's old and does it often.

I had one that did it very badly in my basement, it actually scared me enough for me to change it right there and then, no questions asked. I could see sparks almost flying out of it and it would stay in that "zapping" position if I did not push it off hard enough.


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Old 08-06-2010, 10:21 PM   #3
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I pulled it out and tightened all the wire connections. The bare ground wire (assuming its the ground) seemed not connected to well. The house was built in 99'. This is the first time I noticed it from this switch. At the moment it seems to have stopped.
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Old 08-06-2010, 10:37 PM   #4
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A replacement switch will only cost a dollar or two. Just buy a new one and be done with it.
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