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Top 6 Causes of a Buzzing Light Switch

Top 6 Causes of a Buzzing Light Switch

The light switches in your home are an integral part of the overall electrical system. However, most busy homeowners don’t pay any attention to these unassuming fixtures until something seems out of place. For example, you may notice a light switch buzzing or making some other strange sound you have never noticed before. To help you diagnose the electrical issue, we have created an outline of the main causes of a buzzing light switch and ways to respond.

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Top Reasons Your Light Switch is Making a Buzzing Noise

A light switch making buzzing noises can stem from many electrical issues. No switch should make a noise when you flip the light on or off.

If you hear buzzing when you do this, call a professional electrician for an electrical safety inspection. You don’t want to put your property at risk of an electrical fire and other dangerous hazards. Below is a breakdown of the top six causes of a buzzing light switch.

#1 High Bulb Wattage

If you hear noise coming from your light switch, it’s possible it can’t accommodate all the wattage the bulbs require. Too many lights connected to the same switch can strain the system, especially if each bulb uses maximum power. The switch tries to accommodate the increased wattage but can’t. That buzzing sound is the result.

A professional can help you check the wattage of each bulb assigned to the switch. In some cases, you can eliminate the buzzing sound by changing the wattage of certain bulbs or assigning other lights to a different switch.

#2 Light Bulb is Not Compatible With the Switch

Light switch buzzing often occurs when your switch is paired with an incompatible bulb. For example, using modern LED light bulbs in all of your switches designed for incandescent bulbs can cause minor electrical problems like flickering or buzzing.

Is your electrical system outdated? Have a professional who specializes in lighting installation inspect it. A licensed electrician can upgrade your system for the most energy-efficient and cost-effective light bulbs.

#3 Arcing

One of the most serious causes of a buzzing light switch is electrical arcing. This happens when the electrical current transfers over an air gap within the circuit, resulting in a spark. Your electrical wiring must be in good condition to avoid arcing since common causes of this issue include loose connections and voltage imbalances.

Contact a professional offering emergency electrical services if you suspect arcing within your electrical system. Your faulty switch and poor wiring could overheat and spark an electrical fire.

Read More: Are You Wondering Why Your Hard-Wired Smoke Detector is Beeping?

#4 Overloads

If your standard light or dimmer switch begins producing a buzzing noise, you may be facing a circuit overload. You can combat this issue by installing more switches for all of your lighting fixtures. You might also need to upgrade the existing switch to higher amperage.

#5 Insecure Wires

A light switch buzzing may be cause for concern but one of the simplest solutions is to tighten any loose wires. A minor gap in the connection due to poor installation can result in a buzzing sound coming through the switch. Get a technician to inspect and secure the wiring to solve the problem.

#6 Wear and Tear

Your home’s light switches can last up to 20 years. However, in that time they face plenty of wear and tear. Daily use can cause the switch to deteriorate and produce strange noises.

If you hear your switch buzzing and know it’s near the end of its lifespan, a trusted electrician can easily replace it with newer equipment.

Top 6 Causes of a Buzzing Light Switch

Signs It’s Time to Replace a Light Switch

The average light switch lasts for several decades. However, if you don’t know when the previous owner installed the electrical system, how can you tell when you have to replace a switch? A light switch buzzing is just one indicator that you need to have an electrician inspect your system.

Additionally, keep an eye out for the following warning signs that your light switch is due for replacement:

Excess Heat

Is your light switch warm to the touch? Excess heat coming from a standard switch isn’t normal and indicates a problem with your electrical system. Don’t ignore this issue as it could eventually lead to an electrical fire.

The one exception to this rule is if the heat is coming from a dimmer switch. The design of this switch allows heat to transfer to the surface if the light has been on for a while. Keep in mind that the switch should only feel a little warm (not extremely hot).

Light Switch Making Buzzing Noise

Are you looking for relief from a light switch buzzing constantly? Replacing the switch is an excellent option to restore peace and quiet as well as eliminate dangerous fire hazards.

A continuous buzzing indicates something wrong with any number of electrical components. However, you may also experience clicking noises or a popping sound coming from the switch. These noises require immediate attention from a professional electrician.

Read More: Top Reasons Your Water Heater Reset Button is Tripping

Electrical Sparks

Your light switch doesn’t need replacing if it gives off the occasional spark of static electricity. However, a large spark that produces a popping noise can quickly turn dangerous. If you see this, avoid using the switch and schedule a replacement service with a trustworthy contractor.

Don’t delay replacing the switch if you experience more than one major spark. Each burst of electricity can further damage the system and put you in harm’s way.

Scorch Marks

A big spark or overheating can result in smoke or scorch marks on your light switch. If you notice this visible damage, take it as a sign to replace the switch as soon as possible.

Casteel Staff

Superior Electrical Services for Homes

If you notice a light switch buzzing in your home, don’t wait for it to deteriorate. Contact our team of certified technicians by phone at (770) 852-8504 to receive assistance with replacing a damaged light switch. Our team of local electricians in Rome, GA offer extensive light switch installation and repair services for homeowners.

Our professionals also offer light fixture installation and replacement services for kitchens, bathrooms, and bedrooms. Other available electrical solutions include circuit breaker repair, ceiling fan replacement, wiring maintenance, and electrical panel installation. Our certified electricians specialize in a range of installation and repair services so that you can power your home with peace of mind.