It’s happened to many of us, you’re just trying to get a little light in the room and suddenly, the dimmer switch burns out. It’s not only annoying, but it can also be downright dangerous. But what can you do about it?
Why do dimmer switches burn out
There are a few reasons why dimmer switches may burn out, it’s important to understand why it’s happening so that you can fix the problem.
- One reason is the power load (over lamping). Dimmer switches are designed to control a certain amount of power, and if you try to use them to control more bulb power than they’re rated for, they can overheat and burn out.
- Another reason is power surges. Power surges can happen for a variety of reasons, and when they occur, the electrical current can spike. This can damage the dimmer switch, causing it to burn out.
- Another reason for frequent switch failure is poor quality. Some dimmer switches are simply made with cheaper materials that are more prone to failure. If you find yourself replacing your dimmer switches on a regular basis, it might be worth investing in a higher-quality switch.
- If are using low voltage lights on an incandescent/halogen dimmer switch, this too can cause the dimmer to fail. Be sure to use the correct type of dimmer switch for your lights.
- If your dimmer light switches are not adjusted properly or there is loose wiring, this can cause the dimmers to become warm. If the issue is not fixed in a timely manner, it could result in a fire breaking out. To avoid such catastrophic consequences, be sure to have faulty wires checked by licensed technicians.
- Finally, one of the most common reasons for frequent switch failure is incorrect installation. Dimmer switches must be installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions in order to work properly. If they’re not installed correctly, they can overheat and fail prematurely.
If you find yourself replacing your dimmer switches more frequently than you’d like, there are a few things you can do to try and mitigate the problem. First, make sure that you’re buying high-quality switches. Second, follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions carefully. And finally, if you have any concerns about whether or not your switches are installed correctly, don’t hesitate to call an electrician for assistance.
Can a dimmer switch overheat?
Like any electrical device, a dimmer switch can overheat if it’s overloaded. This can happen if you’re trying to use the dimmer to control more power than it’s rated for, or if there’s a power surge. If the dimmer switch overheats, it can damage the switch and potentially start a fire. That’s why it’s important to make sure that you’re using the right dimmer switch for your needs and that it’s installed correctly.
- A dimmer can get hot but that does not mean that it will overheat. If a dimmer is getting too hot to the touch, it may be overloaded or installed incorrectly.
How can you prevent your dimmer switch from burning out
Dimmer switches are great for setting the right mood in a room. But if your switch is constantly burning out, it can be a real pain (not to mention a fire hazard).
To prevent your dimmer switch from burning out, there are a few things you can do:
- Use the correct switch for your bulbs. Make sure you’re using a dimmer switch that’s rated for the type and number of bulbs you’re using.
- Follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions carefully. Incorrect installation is one of the most common causes of switch failure.
- Check for loose or damaged wiring. If your dimmer switch has loose or damaged wiring, it can cause the switch to overheat and fail.
- Invest in high-quality switches. Cheaper switches are more likely to fail, so spending a little extra on a quality switch can save you money in the long run.
What to do if your dimmer switch does burn out
If your dimmer switch does burn out, the first thing you should do is turn off the power to the switch at the breaker box. You can test that the power is really off with a tester before you start removing the wires.
Once the power is off, you’ll need to remove the switch from the wall. To do this, start by unscrewing the faceplate from the switch. Then, use a screwdriver to remove the two(or more) screws that hold the switch in place. Finally, pull the switch out of the electrical box and disconnect the wires.
You can test the dimmer with a multimeter: To test the continuity of the dimmer switch, attach one of the alligator clips from the continuity tester to one of the wire leads on the dimmer switch. Hold the probe from the continuity tester against the other wire lead on the dimmer switch. If the continuity LED on the continuity tester glows, then the device is working properly. If it does not glow, then you likely have a faulty dimmer switch.
Check the wires leading to the switch as well. If they’re damaged or melted, you’ll need to replace them as well. Once you’ve replaced the switch and any damaged wires, you can turn the power back on and test the switch to make sure it’s working properly.
Important: If you don’t know how to fix the problem yourself, or if you’re not comfortable working with electrical wiring, it’s best to call an electrician for assistance. Trying to fix the problem yourself could result in further damage or even injury.
Dimmer switches are a great way to set the mood in a room, but if your switch is constantly burning out, it can be a real pain (not to mention a fire hazard). To prevent your dimmer switch from burning out, there are a few things you can do: use the correct switch for your bulbs, follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions carefully, check for loose or damaged wiring, and invest in high-quality switches. If your dimmer switch does burn out, the first thing you should do is turn off the power to the switch at the breaker box. You can test that the power is really off with a tester before you start removing the wires. Once you’ve replaced the switch and any damaged wires, you can turn the power back on and test the switch to make sure it’s working properly.
With a little bit of care, you can avoid burning out your dimmer switch and keep enjoying the mood lighting in your home.