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Old 03-17-2010, 10:34 PM   #1
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Light switch "popping"


Hey all.
I have a light switch in my kitchen that makes a "popping" or "crackel" when it's turned on or off SOMEtimes. Other times there is no sound, it functions normally. Also, if I move the switch slowly, it prolongs the sound. The switch is on a 4-way circuit (3 switches controlling one light, that's a 4-way, right?) and the other two are normal.
I've swapped out the switch itself, that didn't solve anything, and as far as I can tell, the wiring looks fine back in there (no overexposed wires or anything)
Any ideas what's causing this and what I can do to not set a fire to my home? Thanks.
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Old 03-17-2010, 10:40 PM   #2
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even though you have changed the switch, to me, it still sounds like a switch arcing internally.

I would install a good quality switch (something a bit better than the 59 cent cheapies) and see if that changes anything.
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Old 03-18-2010, 10:29 AM   #3
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The switch is not making or breaking the connection fast enough to minimize the arc. The snappy feel to a switch is the mechanism used to make or break the connection fast.

An unusually worn or defective or incorrectly manufactured switch may have the contacts positioned in a way that even if the handle is moved fast, the gap between the contacts narrows or widens slowly whcih in turn prolongs the arc.
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Old 03-18-2010, 10:50 AM   #4
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okay, I guess I'll try another switch, not a cheapie. It seems to me that even though it is a cheap switch, it's too convenient that it would be the same location with the same problem. I'll try it though. Thanks for the input. Any other opinions?
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Old 03-19-2010, 08:28 AM   #5
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Minimize any connection possibilities. Make sure the wire connections are tight...use the screws, don't 'back-stab' the switch. If these wires are wire-nutted inside the switch box before they are connected to the switch, make sure those connections are tight also.
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