Why do switches make that clicky sound every time you flip them?


Every electrical switch when you try to turn them on or off whether it’s a light bulb, fan, thermostat, toaster make a clicky sound. Why is that? Whether it’s a rocker switch or a toggle switch. Are there switches which make no sounds at all? If so, then why aren’t they as popular?

In: 4

When the terminals are brought together an arc will form between them.

This arc will damage the terminals.

By making the terminals come together faster the duration of the arc can be minimized and the switch will last longer.

Here video about this https://youtu.be/jrMiqEkSk48

When a switch is close to closing there’s a small electrical arc. Kind of like lightning, jumping between the contacts.

This isn’t good. It causes heating, wear and is a fire hazard.

So most switches are spring loaded to force th contacts to close very quickly, thereby limiting the time that an arc can form.

The click will be the spring coming in to action.

Some small electronics have a latch, rather than a spring for arc reasons. The latch is just to keep it on/off, kind of similar to a clicky pen. It probably does still have a spring in it as part of the latch but the reason for it is slightly different than from arc protection.

The best way to make or break an electrical contact is with a mechanical switch that physically breaks the connection. They’re clicky for reasons other explained.

If you don’t need the physical disconnection you can use a transistor or a Solid State Relay. Those are less safe in some ways but have advantages like working much faster, not wearing out and not clicking.