What is the average life expectancy of a wall switch?
Saturday, December 21, 2019
You can expect a wall switch to last about 30 to 40 years, with an average of 35 years. But a switch that is frequently used or in an unconditioned room, such as a garage, will have a shorter life. Here’s a graph comparing the life expectancy of a wall switch to other electrical components in a home.
Like any other mechanical device, a wall switch eventually wears out and needs to be replaced. Here’s a few of the signs that it’s time:
•• Switch seems loose, does not jump between on/off quickly.
•• Delayed response. Takes a second to turn on a light, for example.
•• Makes buzzing, popping, or sizzling sound.
•• And, of course, any smoke or burning smell.
Also, see our blog posts How can I figure out what a mystery wall switch does? and How does a three-way switch work? and Which rooms in a house require switched lights per code? and Are wall light switches required be "up" for "on" and "down" for "off”?
Go to our blog post What is the average lifespan of the parts of a house? for rating of other house components. To understand the basis, potential use, and limitations of lifespan ratings, see our blog post How accurate are the average life expectancy ratings of home components? Are they actually useful?
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Here’s links to a collection of our other blog posts about ELECTRICAL WIRING:
NOTE: These life expectancies are based on data provided by InterNACHI, NAHB, FannieMae, and our own professional experience. Because of the numerous variables that can affect a lifespan, they should be used as rough guidelines only, and not relied upon as a warranty or guarantee of future performance.
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