Light switch problems

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  #1  
Old 05-04-06, 06:45 AM
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Light switch problems

I have 3 light switches that all control a chandelier and have noticed that sometimes the switches make a slight popping noise when the switch is turned on. All the switches have done this but its not all the time. The chandelier has been working fine and there do not seem to be any loose wires although they were pushed into the back of the switch except for the ground. Is it normal for light switches to do this? I actually had someone tell me that it was common for multiple switches connected to one fixture do to this.
 
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Old 05-04-06, 07:04 AM
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Originally Posted by mgfarmer
I actually had someone tell me that it was common for multiple switches connected to one fixture do to this.
This statement makes no sense. Don't get your electrical advice from this person, at least not without confirming it somewhere.

Switches make (turn on) or break (turn off) an electrical connection. As such there may be a spark as the connection is cerated or broken. Some switches themselves also make an pop as the toggle lever is moved. If nothing has changed and as long as the lights don't flicker then nothing sounds wrong.

As for the wires being pushed into the switch, well that's a different story. These are called back stab connections, and are notoriously unreliable. If you had the switch out to look at it, you should have moved these connections to the screw terminals, which are much more reliable. You might do this, just in case you do have loose connections at any of the switches.

If you make changes, do one wire at a time, so that you do not mix the wires up. Three and four way switches have 3 and 4 wires (not counting the ground) connected to them, and if you mix them up the light won;t work at all or won't work properly.
 
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Old 05-04-06, 07:30 AM
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Thanks for the help. I didnt think that statement made sense. The lights have not been a problem. They have flickered before but its only for a split second when A/C comes or something like a vaccum or iron has just turned on. I had an electrician check this out and he said it was normal since the light switches and outlets were on the same circuit.
 
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Old 05-04-06, 08:23 AM
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You will probably notice that when you turn on or off slowly the popping will be noticed. When you make or break the connection faster you will not notice this.
 
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