How to Fix a Light Switch that Won’t Turn Off

One of the most common reasons for home fires is due to electrical problems. The malfunctioning light switch is one of the common signs that you’re dealing with an electrical problem.


Fixing A Light Switch That Won’t Turn Off


Some electrical tasks are not dangerous, which you can handle by yourself. But first, you must ensure that the switch is off and unplugged to avoid an accident.

To protect your home and your family, regularly ensure that the light switches are working correctly. This guide will help you know the reasons and how to fix your light switch that won’t turn off.

Reasons Your Light Switch Won’t Turn Off

If you notice that the light switch won’t turn off after you’ve installed it, it might not be correctly installed.

But if the switch is completely working and suddenly doesn’t turn off the light, the button might malfunction.

There are a lot of reasons why your light switch is malfunctioning, and here are the common ones:

Damaged Mechanism

Typically when the mechanism is damaged, the only way to fix it is to replace the light switch. Examine if there are signs that you’re dealing with this kind of issue.

Try to click the switch several times. If the light is still not turning on, this could be due to an injured mechanism. If you click the button and it doesn’t remain in place, this could also be due to a damaged instrument.

Fuse Exhaustion

One of the reasons for light malfunctioning is due to fuse exhaustion and twisted circuit breakers. Checking your circuit breaker is crucial before considering replacing your light switch with a new one. Sometimes the best option to make it work is to replace the fuse.

If you are typically dealing with exhausted fuses, you must control the amount of power you are using. This way will prevent clogging the wiring in your house.

Loose Wire

People often get worried if they notice their light flickering and think there is a problem with their light switch. But sometimes, the light switch is not the issue but the light bulb.

Try to tighten the bulb first. If the bulb is still flickering, the reason could be that you have a loose wire.

Fuzzing Switch

If you notice a humming sound from your switch, it shows that your button suffers from a severe problem.

Also, check if the light switch is hot to touch because it can also be a big problem. In this case, you must be cautious. Even if your light switch is working, it still could cause a fire and more damage.

Fix it as soon as possible to prevent more significant problems later on. A loose wire or clogged breaker is one of the reasons why your switch is malfunctioning.

Damage Electric Cable

Use your circuit tester to check if there is a problem with the switch that causes it not to work.

If you have a faulty circuit cable, you need to find an expert technician. Sometimes it requires professional work to make things right.

Things To Look For Before Fixing Your Light Switch

If you want to determine the problem yourself and think you can handle it, then do it. Make sure you have the required tools so that you can quickly troubleshoot your light switch to identify the problem. If needed, replace it with a new button.

You need to identify if the problem is the actual light switch or the wire before replacing it. To distinguish the problem, here are the things you should check for when you remove the cover plate:

  • White wires must be stacked together, and they should not connect to the main.
  • Ground wires in the box should be buckled together and attached to the green ground screw on the switch. These should not be attached to any of the brass terminals.
  • Live wires are attached to one brass terminal – typically the top one – and all the load wires are to the other.

How To Fix A Light Switch That Won’t Turn Off

6 Steps To Fix The Light Switch That Won’t Turn Off

It would help if you were extra cautious when fixing switches as they can be very harmful to you. If you’re afraid or uncomfortable doing it, you can contact a professional electrician and ask for help.

You must have enough knowledge and experience working with electrical circuits. Here are seven steps to fix your light switch:

1.    Prepare all the required tools

If you consider fixing the light switch yourself, begin by preparing all the tools needed for the procedures. These tools include Circuit Tester, Phillips-head and Flathead Screwdrivers, and Needle-nosed Pliers.

2.    Turn off the power to the light switch

Once you set up all the tools needed, you have to take precautions. If you notice the light is fluttering, you may have a loose connection or twisted outlets on the same circuit.

The first thing you’ll have to do is turn off the power to the light switch before fixing it.

3.    Remove the cover and unscrew the switch

Once you’re sure that the beaker is off, remove the cover plate and unscrew the switch. Using your pliers, detach the button out of the electrical box.

Be careful and ensure that your hands and other objects are entirely off of the terminals.

4.    Use the voltage tester to determine if it’s safe to handle the switch

Use a voltage tester to check if the terminals are working. But to do that, make sure that your voltage tester is working too. To verify, you have to insert the heads into a working outlet.

Test the switch if it’s working by putting the voltage tester’s tip to the green ground screw. And then the other lead to a brass terminal. If it’s okay, then it is safe to handle the switch.

5.    Try to pull the black wires from the switch to determine if they are tight enough and properly attached

To identify if the wires are tight and properly connected, you have to pull them on. If one of them is loose, tighten down its terminal screw until it’s assured.

Then screw the switch back into the electrical box and turn on the beaker. Once the light works, put back the cover plate and screw it.

6.    Consider replacing the switch

Depending on the reason you see when you take off the switch cover, you may need to change the switch. If the wires were utterly loose, check the button to distinguish whether it shows signs of melted plastic. If yes, you have to replace the switch because the damage has been done by electric arcing.

You’ll start by removing the light switch, including all the wires that are associated with it.

Then put and screw the new light switch. Ensure that all the wires attached match up to the ones on your wall.

Once all the wires are correctly attached, you can screw the new light switch cover onto your wall. Turn the power back on.

When to Call an Expert to Fix the Problem?

Here are the reasons and steps to fix the light switch that won’t turn off. If you are dealing with this kind of issue, following the guide mentioned above will help you resolve your problem.

If you’re not comfortable replacing a light switch or can’t handle the procedure, you need to call an expert electrician. These electricians are available to fix the problem for you.