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"Crackling" sound when light switch is slowly turned on or off

"Crackling" sound when light switch is slowly turned on or off

Old 07-18-02, 12:33 PM
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Question "Crackling" sound when light switch is slowly turned on or off

I recently installed a new switch and noticed that if the switch is turned on or off slow, there is "crackling" sound rom the switch and then a smell of the electrical contact. I noticed other switches in the house do not do it but instead turn immediately off or on when I attempt this.

Could it be a bad switch?
I wrapped the wires around the screws on the switch when I installed it, instead if inserting the wires into the slots.

I was told this method was better.

Does the amperage rating on the switch have anything to do with it?

The switch I installed was labelled 15amp.

also, the light the switch is wired to is a kitchen light with 3 20W bulbs.

Thanks in advanced!!

Thank you,

Old 07-18-02, 01:28 PM
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Location: United States
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There's not necessarily anything wrong. How much did you spend to buy the switch? If the answer is low, you might try a better switch.
Old 07-18-02, 07:31 PM
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You are interupting an electrical current when you open that switch. The reason it makes noise and you can smell it is becuase you are breaking that connection under load, however small. When you are operating that switch in that manner you are creating arcing inside the switch, arcing which over time can damage the switch. The point here is all switches will do the same thing and are designed to be operated rapidly. There is nothing wrong with your switch.

Old 07-19-02, 05:34 AM
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You said that the other switches don't do this!!! For the price of a single pole switch, I would replace just for peace of mind.
Old 07-20-02, 09:57 AM
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Thank you everyone for your replies!! I had bought a cheap switch ($1) at Lowes. I recently bought a more expensive one and will install that one. What makes a switch better, and how can you tell a good quality switch. I put the 1 dollar switch and the $2.50 switch side by side and I really can't tell the difference.
Thanks again for your replies!! I really appreciate your time!

All the best!


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