How To Determine If Your Light Switch Works Or Not
August 2, 2006
Q: how do you know if a light switch is broken? I’ve been installing a light fixture. Wires in the fixture appear to be correctly wired. However, it does not work. I have a Leviton switch which is flickering. A working one in another room does not flicker. Therefore, I think it is a switch issue. I’ve taken the meter to the wires going into and out of the switch. All appear dead. This leads me to think the switch is broken. How else can I test to see what is broken? (Hopefully, not the wiring)
A: The first thing I would check is to see if voltage is present at the switch. If not check your breaker or fuse. Check between each of the wires on the switch and your neutral or ground.
If voltage is present, check voltage across your switch terminals with the switch in the “on” position. Measuring across each screw on the switch should give you 0 volts. If this is the case your switch is good. You can also disconnect the wires from the switch and check continuity across the switch terminals. There is no continuity with the switch off and there is continuity with the switch on.
You can also measure across each screw terminal with the switch in the “off” position; this should give you 120 volts. If you get 0 volts your light bulb is bad.
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