Bad sign: hot light switch plate.

Last night I went to turn on the light in the kitchen, but when I touched the light switch it was so hot that I thought it burned me.  I felt around the light switch and the wall around it, too, was hot.  I checked the light switches in the rest of the house and they were all cool to the touch.  Something must’ve been wrong with the one in the kitchen.  I googled hot light switch plates and came up with nothing, just “hot” styles of light switch plates, which by the way I am so renovating all of my light switches – there are some cool styles out there!  I never would’ve known!  

I was in panic mode, my gut was telling me something wasn’t right.  Then, I started to smell burning plastic.  Earlier, my DH said to just wait until the morning to worry, but when I smelled burned plastic I told him we needed to do something now.  He obliged and opened the light switch plate.  There, there it was!  A connection was loose and had charred itself and the insulation behind it, on the verge of starting a fire.  Who knows how long this had been going on?

DSCF1724

We turned off the breaker (before he opened it) and waited.  It had cooled down, so we went to bed.  In the morning, we called an electrician (that charged 100.00 an hour. yikes!) and he said that 1. insulation should NOT be in there. 2. this has been going on a long time, possibly since the last owners changed light switches (we have the wide style kind) 3. we have VINTAGE wiring and need to rewire the entire house.  Umm, I know it’s not the worst thing you could hear first thing in the morning, but it pretty much sucks, right?

I keep thinking, ‘what if I didn’t go to turn on the light last night?  What would’ve happened?’  So, in that aspect I feel lucky.  My mom told me it was “my guardian angel.”  I kinda believe her.

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