My light switch makes a crackling sound, what does this mean?

Danielle Segev
by Danielle Segev

I've recently noticed my one light switch makes a crackling sound when turned on. Why would this happen? Is it something I can fix myself?

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  15 answers
  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Jan 15, 2023

    Somthing is "Shorting" If you want it fixed and you are not happy doing it, Call in an Electrician, who will fix it in knowtime flat!

  • It means there is something wrong with the switch and it needs to be replaced.

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Jan 15, 2023

    Why Does My Light Switch Make Crackling Sounds When It’s Turned On?

    The flow of electricity always creates heat, but the heat is contained within the insulated wires. Electricity that escapes the wiring can cause heat to build up quickly, creating a serious fire hazard. Loose or faulty connections anywhere within an electrical circuit can lead to arcing as the current attempts to jump gaps.

    Light switches get tons of use, so it’s no wonder that sometimes components within the switch may wear down or malfunction over time. If the switch no longer makes good contact between the two terminals when the light is turned on, the power flows intermittently. The current may arc, which creates the crackling or hissing sound you hear. If you hear these sounds or if you hear a loud pop from the light switch, it’s time to replace the switch.

  • Janice Janice on Jan 15, 2023

    Sounds as if the switch is shorting out. Unless you are familiar with how electrical switches/outlets work, I'd not do anything except call an electrician or a good handyman competent in dealing with small electrical issues.

  • Deb K Deb K on Jan 15, 2023

    Hi Danielle, eek, you need to get this fixed, it's arcing that you are hearing, Hope this information helps you out.

    Once your power is off, you can gently remove the cover plate over the light switch. Sometimes the crackling sound may simply be that the screws inside are loose. Go along and make sure each one is tightened. If the noise continues after you have tightened the screws it is likely that the switch needs replacing.

    It's definitely something you can do yourself here is a video to guide you

  • I’d not touch it again and call in an electrician. Hire a pro for this.

  • Dee Dee on Jan 15, 2023

    Hi Danielle: Before you have a fire, please change out the light switch. A wire is shorting out. Please call an electrician, but if you feel comfortable changing it out yourself shut off the electircity, take the cover off. Take a picture of the insides and hook it up exactly the same. If you see something burnt call an electrician.

  • William William on Jan 15, 2023

    Time to replace the switch. The internal contacts are shorting out. It can become a fire hazard. Do NOT turn that switch on. Put a piece of tape over it so no one else turns it on.

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Jan 16, 2023

    This is most likely a short in development. I would contact an electrician, not taking any chances.

  • Kmdreamer Kmdreamer on Jan 19, 2023

    Sounds like the wires are loose if you open it up and the wires are ok then replace the switch.

  • Jeremy Hoffpauir Jeremy Hoffpauir on Jan 19, 2023

    I would call an electrician for sure.

  • Pennski22 Pennski22 on Jan 22, 2023


  • Annie Annie on Jan 25, 2023

    That may be a potential fire hazard! Look into getting it replaced.

  • It implies that there is a problem with the switch and that it has to be changed. I'd recommend calling an electrician if you are unfamiliar with how electrical switches and outlets operate.

  • Mogie Mogie on Feb 02, 2023

    Whenever the flow of electricity is interrupted, a current might try to jump over the gaps. This is known as arcing. Arcing can create a hissing or crackling sound.