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Why Is My Dimmer Switch Warm to the Touch?
Why Is My Dimmer Switch Warm to the Touch?
February 01, 2023

Why Is My Dimmer Switch Warm to the Touch?

Have you noticed that your dimmer switch is hot to the touch and perhaps it has become difficult to use? Before you switch off the power or call for help, you should be aware that the dimmer switch is designed to be warm while in operation. However, if the temperature has increased more than the range defined by the electricity regulators, then you need to put off the switch and seek help.

As stipulated by the safety organization Underwriters Laboratories (UL), the dimmer switches are safe when operating at or below 195 degrees Fahrenheit. This specified temperature range can make the dimmer to be warm but if the dimmer is smoking and too hot to touch, then there are serious issues and you should call an emergency electrician from Neighborhood Electric for help.

Having said that, it is your right to know how the dimmer switch functions, the cause of the increase in temperature, and the safest way to handle the situation.

First off, the dimmer switch is designed to lower the light setting in any space where it is installed. However, it does not function like a step-down transformer that regulates or lowers the amount of electricity in the system. Instead, it redirects some of that electricity to dim the lights. This increases the charges and makes the switch to be warm.

Here are some factors that can cause the dimmer switch to be smoking hot!

The Dimmer Switch Is Overloaded

The dimmer light switch is designed to handle a maximum load. If the specified load is exceeded, it will cause the dimmer to get extremely hot. This happens when the certified electrician connects many bulbs to the dimmer.

For example, some dimmer switch comes with a maximum 600-watt load and if it is connected to 7 or eight bulbs that may be 100-watt each, the switch will continuously heat up and may cause a fire outbreak.

The Solution to Overloaded Switch.

Request for An Upgrade

If the problem is because of switch overload, we recommend an upgrade. There are 1000-1500 watts dimmer switches that can handle multiple bulbs. You can order online and call an electrician from Neighborhood Electric for installation.

Change the Bulbs

Your dimmer switch might be hot because youre using traditional bulbs. We recommend that you upgrade all the bulbs in your house to LEDs or CFLs. But before buying the LED bulb, check if it is labeled dimmable.

Bad Installation or Wiring

Bad installation or wiring can cause your dimmer to warm up or become hot to touch. This is because wrong wiring can connect a switch to a circuit with a higher amp load than it can handle. Short-circuiting can also cause the switch to give off a lot of heat.

So to safeguard your appliances and avoid possible fire outbreak, you need to consult a pro to evaluate the wiring in your building.

Are you Still Concerned That Your Dimmer Switch Is Running Too Hot?

If youre not sure about the voltage loading on your dimmers or the wiring in your building, you need to contact an electrician. Defects from electrical gadgets like the dimmers shouldnt be neglected because it is a red flag that something is wrong in the system. Calling a certified and bonded electrician from Neighborhood Electric is the safest and smartest option.