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bbear2
Premium
join:2003-10-06
94045
kudos:5

Light switch needs to be wiggled but...

I have a ceiling fan with a light fixture that has 3 screw-in type CFLs. The fan and the light have separate pull switches but those are seldom used (fan is normally off, and light fixture is normally on). The light is controlled by a fairly new single pole wall switch.

The situation is such that in the morning, when I turn on the switch nothing happens until i wiggle it slightly from side to side (and I can hear a very tiny amount of crackling when I do). Then the light comes on normally and all is well throughout the day until the next morning. And this happens only for the first time in the morning, regardless of how long the light has been off - in that it never happens in the evening, etc.

Other than the first time in the morning the swtich seems to be fine and works as expected and without crackling or wiggling. Any ideas as to what is going on?



Raphion

join:2000-10-14
Samsara

Probably thermal effects, it could be colder inside the wall in the morning than anytime during the day or evening.

The solution is a new switch, of course.



Bamafan2277

join:2008-09-20
Jeffersonville, IN
reply to bbear2

new switch for sure. if you are hearing crackling that is potential sparks that could spark a fire in your wall.


Mr Matt

join:2008-01-29
Eustis, FL
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom
·Embarq Now Centu..
·Comcast
·CenturyLink
reply to bbear2

Turn off power to circuit feeding switch. Pull the switch out of the handybox and check to see if the wires are inserted in the back stab holes. If they are check to see if the electrician put the wires in the wrong holes. I had one switch that behaved like your switch does and it turned out that the electrician inserted the wires in the holes that are used to release the back stabbed connections and there were no wires in the correct holes. Fortunately the switch controlled a 60 Watt ceiling light, if it was a high current device I could have had an electrical fire in the outlet box.


bbear2
Premium
join:2003-10-06
94045
kudos:5
reply to bbear2

Thanks for all the replies. The switch was wired correctly with the proper holes used. Due to the comments about cracking and fire I've gone and replaced the switch. FYI, it also seem to be getting worse now, happening more than only first time in the morning, which is another reason I was motivated to change it sooner than later.

Is it just me or do new switches always feel so much nicer?



cybersaga

join:2011-12-19
Welland, ON

It's not just you; it's reality



Bamafan2277

join:2008-09-20
Jeffersonville, IN

I prefer the newer rocker switches compaired to the old style. The house I am having built will use nothing but the new rocker switches.


garys_2k
Premium
join:2004-05-07
Farmington, MI
reply to bbear2

It would be better to not use ANY of the backstab holes and use the screws on the sides of the switch, instead. Backstabs don't hold up well over time.



tp0d
yabbazooie
Premium
join:2001-02-13
Carnegie, PA
kudos:5

If its a switch thats used often, pony up and put in the 2$ switch instead of the .59c one.. there -is- a difference.

-j
--
if it aint broke, tweak it!!
currently on FiOS (kick aZZ!)


bbear2
Premium
join:2003-10-06
94045
kudos:5

ok, so what is the difference between the two and how do I know which I'm buying? Is it purely on price? I saw one on Amazon for $1.10 and don't have a clue as to which that is.



rfhar
The World Sport, Played In Every Country
Premium
join:2001-03-26
Buicktown,Mi

If you had to tighten a screw to hold the wire it is a good one.



cybersaga

join:2011-12-19
Welland, ON
reply to bbear2

I like the backstab ones that are held in place by the screw rather than a spring. It's the best of both worlds. I've only seen them on GFCI outlets, but apparently they're on "industrial grade" outlets too: »www.handymanhowto.com/2011/01/17···ck-wire/


garys_2k
Premium
join:2004-05-07
Farmington, MI
Reviews:
·Callcentric
·callwithus

said by cybersaga:

I like the backstab ones that are held in place by the screw rather than a spring. It's the best of both worlds. I've only seen them on GFCI outlets, but apparently they're on "industrial grade" outlets too: »www.handymanhowto.com/2011/01/17···ck-wire/

Technically called backwire, totally good. Backstab, where spring pressure hold the wire, is not reliable long term.


tp0d
yabbazooie
Premium
join:2001-02-13
Carnegie, PA
kudos:5

1 recommendation

here ya go..

cheap

»www.lowes.com/pd_246990-1571-660···_price|0

relatively cheap, and quality...

»www.lowes.com/pd_207301-1571-CS1···_price|0

look at specs, and overall size.

whats 1.30 extra for something you use everyday?

hell, mebe i`m off on this, dunno if the 'house electrician' can weigh in.. i`m just a plumber.

-j
--
if it aint broke, tweak it!!
currently on FiOS (kick aZZ!)


bbear2
Premium
join:2003-10-06
94045
kudos:5
reply to bbear2

Thanks for all the replies. Replaced it with a $.59 switch for now and all is well.


garys_2k
Premium
join:2004-05-07
Farmington, MI

I hope you used the screw terminals to wire it in.


bbear2
Premium
join:2003-10-06
94045
kudos:5

Opps no. Since it was plugged in with the quick connect I kept it that way. Are those things really that bad? If so, why do they even make them?



shdesigns
Powered By Infinite Improbabilty Drive
Premium
join:2000-12-01
Stone Mountain, GA
Reviews:
·EarthLink
·Comcast
·Atlantic Nexus

said by bbear2:

Opps no. Since it was plugged in with the quick connect I kept it that way. Are those things really that bad? If so, why do they even make them?

They are bad on the real cheap ones.

The old (mid '70s) $3.50 switches i have, you can't get the wires back out. Only way is to cut them off.

New ones, they come out easily without even pressing the release tab. The originals were fine, the Chinese copies don't have proper design to be reliable.
--
Scott Henion

Embedded Systems Consultant,
SHDesigns home - DIY Welder

garys_2k
Premium
join:2004-05-07
Farmington, MI
reply to bbear2

Yeah, the connection gets loose and can fall out or arc, possibly scorching the wire or switch body. MUCH better to use the screws.