How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Ask an Electrician

Mike
Mike, Master Electrician
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 1425
Experience:  Licensed Master Electrician - OnQ Certified Data Voice Audio Video Installer
11762411
Type Your Electrical Question Here...
characters left:
2 Electricians are Online Now

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
< Last | Next >
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther Woodstock, NY
  • Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know. Robin Elkton, Maryland
  • He answered my question promptly and gave me accurate, detailed information. If all of your experts are half as good, you have a great thing going here. Diane Dallas, TX
 
 
 

Electrical Switch Repair Questions

An electrical switch is a component that diverts electric current from one conductor to another by breaking an electrical circuit. One of the most common forms of a switch is an electromechanical device that is operated manually and has electrical contacts that are connected to external circuits. There are two states in which each of these set of contacts operate. One is “closed” which means electricity flows between the contacts because they are touching. The other is “open” which indicates that there is a separation between the contacts and the switch is not conducting current.

Listed below are a few questions answered by electricians on electrical switch repair related issues.

My ceiling fan fixture sparked when I turned on an electrical switch in my mobile home. Now I don’t have power in this fan fixture, the fan and light in the bathroom, the light in the hall, and one additional room. How can I fix the problem?

Details of the problem: I checked the wiring where the problem first started. There are two black wires connected to the switch, along with one white and a ground. I removed the wires and recorded 98v on one of the black wires. After this, I re-checked the wires. My readings said 98v from hot to neutral. Hot to ground read 0v. Thereafter I recorded 0v from neutral to ground.

There seem to be two problems that probably exist. The first is that your electrical switch doesn’t seem to have a grounding system. The second is that, you are being faced with a neutral connection problem. Both the problems probably have the same cause as well.

Fix this may be a little labor intensive. To begin with, the breaker that gives power to the circuit needs to be shut down. After this is done, you need to use a tape or some other form of marking and identify everything on that circuit, including switches, lights, and outlets.

Thereafter, re-visit your panel and measure the voltage on the circuit breaker. Instructions on how to do this can be viewed at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GdlAxZHLDys&list=UUDjzxT-8ebFTBV1TsINxjCA&index=2

If the breaker looks alright, you need to look for any loose or corroded connections on all the switches and outlets you identified earlier. If you can’t find any, every connection on each device will have to be re-done physically. What’s important to remember here is that many bad connections lie hidden. Sometimes, all it takes to fix a problem like this is to re-do a connection. But the difficult bit is finding the right connection to fix.

What can I do to stop a two-way electrical light switch from blinking?

Your switch could probably be a bad one. Based on your question, the switch sounds like a 3-way switch. A 3-way electrical switch will sometimes tend to break at the frame and stop working properly. This kind of a switch is light that can be operated at two different places. You could try and replace both switches to fix the problem. However, be careful when you do this and make a note of where the wires end. Also, remember that the wire on the black screw is common and needs to be placed on the new switch’s common screw.

My bathroom has a combination electrical switch. A light is controlled by the top switch and an exhaust fan by the bottom switch. There was a short circuit with the top switch, so I replaced it and as a result, both switches turn on the fan and light at the same time. A black and white pair of wires that each come from two separate cables are involved in the wiring, along with another bare wire that is from a cable that was not connected. How can I fix this?

It seems like the tab between the black screws wasn’t broken. Once you break this tab and separate the screws, the two switches should operate independent of each other, on separate feeds.

I have an electrical switch installed that controls an individual electrical outlet. There is a grounding wire for both the switch and the outlet that connects to a ground wire in the line. My plug tester says everything is ok when the switch is turned on. But it indicates an open ground when the switch is in the off position. What do you think is the problem?

From what you say it looks like you have the neutral switched and not the hot. There are also limitations with your tester so you may want to look into that as well.

When you install building wiring, light switches are placed at locations that are convenient to control lighting from. Some people use multiple-pole switches so a lamp can be controlled with a multi-way switching process from different locations. In the same way, remote control of lights can be easily done with the help of wireless light switches, while a vandal resistant switch can be used to prevent misuse and unauthorized use of switches in public buildings. There are different types of electrical switches. When you need maintenance or repairs for your electrical switches, if you aren’t sure of what the problem is, it’s best to get Expert insights.

Ask an Electrician

Mike
Mike, Master Electrician
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 1425
Experience:  Licensed Master Electrician - OnQ Certified Data Voice Audio Video Installer
11762411
Type Your Electrical Question Here...
characters left:
2 Electricians are Online Now

How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Electricians are online & ready to help you now

Ron
ASE Certified Technician
Satisfied Customers: 21588
23 years with Ford specializing in drivability and electrical and AC. Ford certs and ASE Certs
Dr. Y.
Urologist
Satisfied Customers: 18598
I am fellowship trained specializing in general urology and reconstructive urology.
John
Home Appliance Technician
Satisfied Customers: 13453
Appliance repair business owner for over 43 years.

Recent Switch Questions

  • Installing model 59020 in-wall digital timer. Timer has three

    Installing model 59020 in-wall digital timer. Timer has three wires; black, red and green. Old flip switch has four wires; black, red, green and white.
    What do I do with white wire?
    Switch is for porch light. There is a second switch in the garage for the porch light.
  • I have a circuit in my house that nothing on it is working.

    I have a circuit in my house that nothing on it is working. The breaker is not tripped. There is a GFI outlet at some point on the daisy chain of this circuit but I currently have the hot side disconnected. If I measure voltage between the hot and the return on any outlet on this circuit, I read zero. But if I measure between either the hot or the return and the ground, I read 120v.
    Any ideas?
  • Hello - there was an ekectric changeover recently at our 50+

    Hello - there was an ekectric changeover recently at our 50+ yr old house. Since then there have been almost random boom-like noises seemingly from the walls or ceiling (new a/c was installed as well). Prior to new a/c, saw a spark from back of oven (plugged in but not in use). Landlords sent out appliance repair tech who confirmed and fixed burnt wire. We have been away and returned to the boom noises. I'm thinking I'm already tardy in calling (my own) electrician. No smoke or smells as far as I can tell.
< Last | Next >
View More Electrical Questions