Light Switch Problem

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Old 08-04-06, 07:16 AM
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Light Switch Problem

I have a couple of light switches in my home that have been acting strange. Its a new home and noticed after about a year the 2 switches would make a slight popping sound when I turned them on. I decided to replace the switches and noticed the original switches were wired using the back stabbed method. When I installed the new switches I wrapped the wires around the screws. The strange thing is that they still make a slight popping noise and when I took the plastic cover plate off to work on the switch I notice when you get the pop there is a very slight ozone type smell. Does anyone know what might cause this and if its a fire hazard. The wires are tight and there was no sign of burning on the wires.
 
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Old 08-04-06, 07:29 AM
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Switch

The portion of the circuit from the switch to the light is arcing. This problem should be repaired. Could be a loose connection, damaged insulation on a wire, or a bare ground too close to a hot wire.
 
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Old 08-04-06, 07:44 AM
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Are the 2 switches in the same outlet-box, or are they in seperate O-B's?

What do the switches control?

If there is leakage-to-Ground in the switch-controlled conductors, such leakage would probably "Trip" a GFI receptacle. I mention this because it's possible to use a GFI receptacle to test the switch-controlled wiring for leakage-to-Ground.

Good Luck, & Learn & Enjoy from the Experience!!!
 
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Old 08-04-06, 07:58 AM
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Thanks for the reply. The switches are not in the same box but the both control the same light fixture.
 
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Old 08-04-06, 08:45 AM
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I am actually at work but thought of something. There is a third switch that also controls this same light in another box. It hast been a problem but I am sure they used the back stabbed connection on this switch. If this switch is loose could it cause the arcing in the other switches that control the light switch?
 
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Old 08-04-06, 09:00 AM
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Remove the lamps from the fixture(s) which dis-connects the "load" on the switch-controlled cables and causes an "open" circuit. If this eliminates the arcing effect, then a defective connection at a switch is the probably cause.

Controlling a fixture from 3 or more switch-locations requires "4-way" switches- a switch with 4 terminals.Replacing a 4-way switch can be complicated because of difficulty in identifying the terminals.
 
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Old 08-04-06, 10:19 AM
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Its a ceiling fan light that the switch controls. I am going to take a look at the 3rd switch that controls that light and see if its loose, but that one hasnt been popping. So from your response if any switch on this circuit is loose it could cause the other switches to arc?
 

Last edited by mgfarmer; 08-04-06 at 10:37 AM.
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