I have 5 (paddle type) light switches in my home that are warping. Four of them are double pole switches (two on the same circuit, the other two on a different circuit). The 5th one is a single pole switch.

I had an electrician out to see if he knew why. I thought there was a wiring problem, as the outlets were getting hot. He said they were just cheap and replaced them with better switches. A year and a half later the same ones are warped again. The switches do not feel hot to the touch.

Why are these switches warping?

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    I'm assuming there's a question to be asked here, so I added one in. Also, a few pictures of these warped switches may be useful. Please edit the question use the Mountain icon to add the pictures. Commented Jul 8 at 16:26
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    Do they get direct sunlight on them during the day? It's a guess, but I don't have much to go on. Maybe a pic of a "warped" switch comparing it to a new one?
    – RMDman
    Commented Jul 8 at 16:39
  • I've voted to reopen, but there's still something missing here. Obviously the switches are overheating at some point. You need to investigate and find out what conditions cause the problem. Then we can discuss how to fix it.
    – isherwood
    Commented Jul 9 at 19:46
  • That looks less like heat-related “warping” and more like damage. Could anybody in the house be hitting the switches a little too enthusiastically?
    – nobody
    Commented Jul 9 at 20:28
  • Thank you for the response... I thought it was heat related too, however the switch isn't hot or warm in any way Commented Jul 9 at 20:56

1 Answer 1


The pictured switch does not look warped to me. The toggle paddle still appears to have the typical angle found on this type of switch (Decora style), and the edges are still flat.

It looks damaged, like the toggle paddle has been pried off its mounting pins.

Your house borrowers probably have a thing against Decora switches. It's very easy to throw a thread lasso over a standard toggle switch and pull from where the borrower is standing, but the little folks have to rappel down to jump on a Decora to switch it.

If you don't have borrowers, then it's likely someone is using these switches as a punching bag (at least slapping them really hard) or prying the high edge of the toggle paddle loose.

Replace these switches with standard toggle switches, or administer appropriate education/bill to whoever is damaging the Decoras.

  • This was my hunch, too, but it seems like OP would've mentioned that they're flopping loose from being cracked up. Maybe we'll hear more about that now.
    – isherwood
    Commented Jul 10 at 12:42
  • Thank you for your responses! I wish it were that simple. When I purchased the condo, I noticed a few of these paddle switches that looked like this. I replaced them myself. Within a year, these same switches warped again like I've shown in the picture. I called a licensed electrician out to take a look and replace the warped switches. I no longer live in this unit, however my daughter moved in. The same switches are warping again. She isn't abusing the switches in any way. Commented Jul 10 at 14:56
  • I hit send too soon. as a note... these are the only double pole switches in the house. All of the others are single pole and they do not have the warping issue. I am baffled. I will call another electrician out but want to be educated on what to tell him and not just have him replace each switch again (fix the problem) Any other ideas on what could be happening Commented Jul 10 at 14:59
  • Sometimes the best way to proceed is to change direction. Forget the Decoras, they don't hold up in your situation. Get the regular old-style toggle switches, They come in "single pole" (regular) and "double pole" (3-way) also. Replace the switch plates to match. Commented Jul 10 at 15:35

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