Is this common?


Old 10-20-06, 07:36 PM
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Is this common?

Our house was built in 1978; this week two light switches have gone out; hard to turn on/off for a few days; then not working at all. They were replaced. Now we have 3 other switches (2 on upper floor) acting up also. Is it common for them to start going out at once?
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Old 10-20-06, 08:47 PM
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Tract houses are wired as inexpensively as possibly. That means switches and receptacles in bulk and the least expensive kind. It's possible that the switches may have all come from the same lot. It could be a bad lot.
Old 10-20-06, 10:29 PM
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Location: Chesapeake, VA
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It's odd that after 28 years they'd all fail within a few days of each other. They may share the same defect, but I'd suspect there was some other contributing factor.
Old 10-21-06, 05:01 AM
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They are probably like light bulbs, as they tend to only have a certain life span and go out fairly close together. Another thing to consider is if they are installed using the stab back. If so, have them installed with the wire wrapped around the screw. The stab backs never seem to give as good a connection and will cause failure of the switch quicker than normal, as they can create heat.
Old 10-21-06, 07:04 AM
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Location: Chesapeake, VA
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Light bulbs are tied to the same switch and operate the exact number of hours and are exposed to identical conditions. So, if they were manufactured in an identical method, yes, they will generally died pretty close together. Light switches see completely disparate use- there is no way all those switches would be operated the same # of times in the same manner. Even if the switches were identical to the molecular level, there's no way they'd fail this close together unless there was some outside factor, like a power spike or resonant harmonic.

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