After a short amount of time (hundreds of triggers) I still hear the relay clicking but there is no longer continuity across the contacts. I have read that I can possibly put a non-polarized capacitor across the switch contacts to prevent sparking. Is it fair to assume the relay is failing due to sparking (even though it does not appear to be welding) and if so, what size capacitor should I implement?
Here is the schematic of how I'm currently running the circuit:
If I've understood answers correctly, here is what I should do to avoid sparking and damaging the relay:
I'm now considering using this diode.
I've placed a flyback diode as in the second schematic. When touching the connections in place of where the relay will be there is still some slight sparking but it significantly reduced. I may have to look for other ways to continue to reduce sparking.