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Almost New House Switches #4761 10/15/01 01:46 AM
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 2
Zap Offline OP
Junior Member
Our house is now going on 1 year old. Since built, the electrical system has been "glitchy". The electrician has been back several times to fix things like the bathroom fans that trip the GFI's, or the light switch that arced and tripped the circuit breaker. My question involves the light switches. There are random cases of visible sparks from various switches throughout the house. Also, the switches are often "crackly" ,without a visible spark, when flipped. Since the builder warrants everything for a year, am I out of line to demand that ALL the light switches be replaced with something of a better quality? I think the current situation is dangerous to say the least, but my previous inquiries to the electrician were met with indifference. If they should be replaced, should I get someone else to do it? Thanks so much for any replies.

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Re: Almost New House Switches #4762 10/15/01 12:14 PM
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 599
Nick Offline
What you are describing sounds like low quality switches. (The 39-cent Home Depot type) In my experience (having used them in my own home once) they will quite working very soon. I don’t know how much luck you will have but you should try and get them to replace them. Keep in mind your receptacles are probably the cheap variety too.

Re: Almost New House Switches #4763 10/15/01 01:04 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 176
WARREN1 Offline
I agree with Nick, you should get them replaced. Home Depot and Lowe's does have a specification grade switch and receptacles. I would pay an electrician to replace them if I had to for the peace of mind that would bring. If you want the better quality devices, get them at an electrical supply house that sells Hubbell devices.
Good luck.

Re: Almost New House Switches #4764 10/15/01 07:00 PM
Joined: Feb 2001
Posts: 308
Steve T Offline
Having an unqualified (or supposedly qualified) electrician hook up spec grade switches won't be of much help. Loose terminal connections, missing strands, etc. could cause problems as well.

Re: Almost New House Switches #4765 10/17/01 01:06 AM
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 141
amp-man Offline

I could buy one or two switches going bad, but a whole housefull of them?

One possiblity here is that there's a loose neutral at the supply or service, and what you're getting is 240V acros the branch circuits. Do lightbulbs burn brightly and burn out quickly? How about appliances--any die a premature death?

I suppose it's possible that all the switches are from the same mfgr and are just dangerously poor quality. You get what you pay for, and I'll bet the sub used the cheapest possible materials. The pressures to go with the low bid, wither to maximize profit and be price competative, are real.

I'd say that if the switches are UL listed, and brand name, the sub ought to fight the mfgr for compensation. But first, you the homeowner should get new switches.

Are the receptacle outlets throwing sparks too, or losing their grip?

Good luck.

Re: Almost New House Switches #4766 10/17/01 12:07 PM
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 2
Zap Offline OP
Junior Member

No bright burning out bulbs or dead appliances.

Outlets have been fine for what little use they get.


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