3-way light switch issues:?

I have a 3-way light switch in my home. Last night I turned it on and heard a crackling noise. I smelled hot wires , so I shut the switch off. I'm very afraid that this may start a fire in my home. Any ideas as to what's causing this and how can I fix it?

8 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    How do you know it's a 3-way switch?

    1- If it is, try turning the other 3-way associated with it on.

    2- Check it again, if the light comes on and you don't hear the same noise, the switch, wire(s) or connection is bad (or just loose).

    3- Assuming no, leave the light on, go to the breaker panel and turn off the power to that circuit.

    4- Remove the switch cover, and the screws holding the switch in the box.

    5- Look for burn marks, charring or loose screws on the switch.

    6- If the screws are tight, replace the switch.

    8- If the wires are plugged into the back of the switch (round holes in the back of the switch), replace the switch and this time connect the wiring to the screws.

    9- Pay attention to where each wire goes so it will work when you replace it.

    10- Now you can turn the power to that light back on.

    Good Luck! ! !

    Source(s): Retired Electrician - NJ
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    hmmm first off i am not 100% sure its the switch...I have an old 3 way i thought was the switch myself, being an electrician, only to open up the cover and find my old wires were touching the box and shorting out a bit...I had to replace my wires...but in your case, it certainly could simply be the switch going bad...but have a qualified person do this pls

  • 1 decade ago

    Replace the switch. Switches sometimes die of old age. Very important though, be sure you put the wires on the proper screws. On the new switch there will be two black screws and one gold screw. Make sure you get the correct wire on the gold screw. The two wires to the black screws are interchangeable.

    Source(s): General contractor.
  • 1 decade ago

    The wiring might have gone bad. Turn the electricity off unscrew the plate take the piece to home depot they will show you which item you need to replace it with

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  • 5 years ago

    confusing issue. try searching in search engines like google. just that could help!

  • Bonno
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago


  • D.I>Y store....... New switch....... fit new switch ahhhhhhhh bisto !

  • 1 decade ago


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