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May 30, 2024

Why Does My Light Switch Keep Shocking Me?

Have you reached for the light switch only to be shocked by a static discharge? It’s concerning when this happens. While a minor shock from a light switch may not be dangerous, it’s important to have the problem fixed as soon as possible. In this article, Mr. Electric looks into the reasons why light switches may cause electrical shock.

Loose Wiring

A light switch’s wiring can become loose as a result of improper installation, rough use, or normal wear and tear. A loose wire in a light switch can cause unpredictable current flow, leading to shocks. Do not try to fix a faulty light switch unless you are a licensed electrician. Electrical work can be dangerous for those without the proper training and knowledge. It’s advisable to turn off the power at the circuit breaker and call a dependable electrical repair service to make repairs.


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Damaged Wiring

Just like loose wiring, damaged wiring can expose live wires and increase the risk of shock. A switch’s wiring can become worn out or frayed due to animal damage, friction, age, and exposure to excessive heat. If you touch the switch plate or the switch itself while live wires are exposed, the current can travel through you to the ground, causing a shock.

Faulty Light Switch

A malfunctioning light switch is another common culprit behind electrical shocks when you touch the switch. Just like other components of your electrical system, light switches can malfunction over time due to power surges, overload, normal use, or moisture damage. Internal damage or faulty components could create a pathway for electricity to leak and cause a shock.

Water Damage

Water damage to a light switch can occur in a couple of different ways. If water spills directly onto the light switch, it can seep into the switch housing and damage the internal components. Leaks from faulty pipes behind the wall can also pose a risk, as moisture can migrate through the drywall and reach the switch. Water damage to a light switch can not only cause a short circuit, but it can also damage the switch’s internal components, resulting in flickering lights or complete failure. If water has found its way into your light switch, turn off the power to the switch at the breaker box. Do not attempt to touch the switch or breaker with wet hands. Call a trusted electrical repair service as soon as possible to perform repairs or replacement.

Improper Grounding

For safety, light switches should be properly grounded. A missing or faulty ground connection can leave the switch metal parts energized and create a shock hazard. A missing ground wire, a ground fault on the circuit, and improper repairs can cause grounding issues. If you suspect improper grounding, call a qualified electrician as soon as possible to address it.

Can A Faulty Light Switch Be Repaired?

For minor issues, like loose wiring within the switch itself, an electrician might be able to repair the connection and restore functionality. However, in most cases of faulty light switches, replacement is the safer and more reliable option. Light switches are relatively inexpensive, and a professional electrical repair service can quickly diagnose the problem and install a new switch to ensure safety and proper operation.

Call the experts at Mr. Electric for all of your electrical repair needs, including light switch replacement, electrical outlet replacement, lighting installation, and many more.


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