If you have ever wondered why the spot on the wall near the light switch gets hot, you are not alone.
And it can be worrying.
Anything involving electricity is severe and demands immediate attention.
And heating of the light switch is no exception.
So, Why Is There a Warm Spot On the Wall Near the Light Switch?
Well, the wall gets hot for an apparent reason- the heating up of the light switch. There are many reasons why your light switch can get hot and dissipate this heat onto the wall near it. Short-circuiting, poor installation, and overloading are some significant causes.
Six Reasons Why Your Light Switch Gets Warm
Often, light switches are rated for 15 amps.
If a light switch is subjected to more than it can handle, the strain causes it to overheat.
If you want to check on the wattage of your switch, check on the housing.
Some models can handle a wattage of up to 1500 watts.
Excessive heat is felt on the light switch if the dimmer switch is made of a trim plate or plastic.
And for obvious reasons.
Plastic does not conduct heat away from the light switch.
In this case, you need to replace it with a light switch made of metal which dissipates heat much better and faster.
How Can You Reduce the Load On the Switch?
You can prevent overloading by switching to lower wattage bulbs.
You can hustle around the shops near you for bulbs with lower wattage to light your rooms properly.
And if you cannot reduce the load on the switch, the alternative is to have a new light switch installed. Ideally, you need to get one with a higher capacity. A 20 amps switch a great deal.
Another alternative is to rewire your rooms and add other switches.
It will ease the load on one light switch. Rewiring the house and installing new switches requires a qualified electrician.
2. Faulty Switch
If your light gets hot, there could be ab error inside it. Faulty switches do get hot.
And they can be very dangerous.
Remember, light switches are electric components with many parts.
If anything goes wrong inside it, like a short-circuiting, it will eventually become hot and may even start a fire.
Dimmer switches are designed with internal circuitry.
With time, the components of the circuit begin to wear down.
As we noted earlier, poor contact causes severe electrical arcs, which may eventually become disastrous, resulting in fires.
Or a large amount of electricity can go through a small wire, causing overheating.
3. Faulty Wiring
Sometimes your light switch may be overhead, not because the problem originates from the light switch but because there is a poor connection between the lights and the light switches.
Wires are prone to become lost with time. Improper installation aggravates these problems.
Such poor connections can lead to short-circuiting.
Of course, heating up of the switches is inevitable where there is short-circuiting. In turn, the wall near the light switch gets hot.
If there is a compromised connection anywhere in between, it forces a lot of electric currents to flow through it. It strains the wires, and the switch overheats.
Poor wiring has also been known to bottle-neck electricity and automatically makes the light switch heat up.
4. Corrosion and Dirt Buildup
Perhaps a rare cause of overheating in light switches, corrosion occurs when moisture gets into the light switch.
If your light switch becomes corroded, it will have to strain to conduct electricity. In the process, it becomes hot, spreading the same heat on the wall around it.
Dirt and dust can also accumulate in the switch over time. Such conditions can cause heat resistance and arc in the light switch. These are manifested through the heating of the light switch.
5. Low-Quality Switches
Low-quality switches are prone to most of the above problems.
Most of them have weak internal circuits which can arc at any time. Acing is manifested through heating the switch, which is conducted away into the wall around the light switch.
6. Physical Damage
If your switch suffers any physical or outward damage, there is every chance that its internal parts will be compromised as well.
The damage affects the functioning of the light switch and may even cause short-circuiting or arcing. All these problems compound and cause heating of the light switch and the adjacent wall.
How Can You Curb Light Switch Heating?
1. Replace Them
Execute a complete replacement of all faulty light switches.
Ensure that the new light switches are top-notch.
Spending more money on light switches is better than buying cheap models that jeopardize your safety.
The market is awash with high-quality light switches. Hustle around for suitable light switches with a high wattage rate.
2. Do Not Overload Your Switch
If you have no otherwise, contact an electrician and add more switches and connections. It is pretty dangerous to overload a single switch.
3. Correct Faulty Wiring
As we mentioned, wiring wears and tears over time.
It happens by default. Insulation materials start to crack and even melt with age. Such parts must be checked and corrected before the situation gets out of hand.
If you find any naked wires, turn off the power supply before repairing and insulating them.
Contact an electrician near you if you think you cannot handle the job.
4. Clear Dust Off the Switches
If corrosion is the root cause of overheating, you must get to the bottom of the problem.
First, observe the rule of thumb when dealing with electricity. Switch off the main power supply.
Then, using the right tools, clear dust, and any particles off the switches.
Fit them back appropriately and put them on the main power supply.
Though it is not a satisfying solution, this can prolong the lifespan of your light switch.
Precautions When Handling Electricity
If you decide to correct any connection, precautions still hold. Here are some important rules to observe
1. Safety First
Never touch any naked wires if the power is on. Do not attempt to carry on any activity while the emphasis is on. First, ensure that the power is off.
To do this, locate the main electrical panel and flip the main circuit breaker off. Prevent all potential contact between you and naked wires.
2. Troubleshoot The Problem
You need to understand that fixing a faulty light switch can be as simple as replacing the switch.
It equally indicates a more significant electrical issue.
It would help if you did some thorough investigative work to root out the faulty switch’s cause.
From this point, you can proceed to replace it.
3. Test Your Work
Once you are done with the replacement, turn the power on to test whether everything has returned to normalcy.
It will help you ascertain whether there is still a problem anywhere in the switch or not.
If the problem persists, however, a trained professional is handy.
Light switches can get hot because of a myriad of reasons, as you have noted in this article.
It is this heat that makes the spot around the light switch hot.
Some causes should not wary you, while others should. Dim light switches seem to heat by default.
If that is not the case, you need to assess the entire wiring for anything that might have gone amiss.