Electrical Wiring in the Home/Wall Switch


I have a wall switch that controls an electrical outlet.  I had a space heater plugged into the outlet.  The wall switched got extremely hot and popped.  I was surprised that the main circuit didn't trip off.  Am I OK just replacing the wall switch or is there some other problem that I need an electrician to repair. (like why the switch heated up but did not trip the circuit?)

Space heaters use a lot of electricity, and should be the only thing on the circuit. It's also a good idea not to use a switched outlet.  I would try to find where the problem was. There may be black marks where the problem was.  Check the wiring and look for any melted wires. Do not use the back push in holes.  Use the screws on the side.  I would replace the outlet too, to be on the safe side.

If you see problems with the wiring that you can not fix, I would call an electrician.  Otherwise, just replace the outlet and switch.
About Electrical Wiring in the Home
This site answers questions related to home electrical wiring, home wiring, general electrical help,and other electrical questions related to aleternating current (AC). You can find help on the National Electical Code, home electrical issues, wiring electrical outlets, installing lighting, electrical grounding, and general electrical help for do-it-yourself projects not require an electrician. If you do not see your home electrical wiring question answered in this area then please ask your electrical wiring question here

Electrical Wiring in the Home

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Bob Sponaugle


Just about any home wiring question. (not appliance repair) I have done all kinds of home wiring for myself, including adding a new breaker box, etc. Please, questions from North America only. Please be specific with details.

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.