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wimsey70

09:43AM | 03/28/05
Member Since: 03/27/05
7 lifetime posts
Bvelectrical
Our house has an old GE low-voltage electrical system. Several rocker switches have worn out, and we're looking for replacements.

We've struck out locally and in online searches, and we're getting desperate because we're trying to put the house on the market. Does anyone have ideas for finding replacement parts?

Thanks for any help you can offer.

doug seibert

09:56AM | 03/28/05
Member Since: 08/10/02
842 lifetime posts
http://www.alltestequipment.com/cgi-bin/pdc/viewprod.cgi?pid=559&tid=1&type=elec

doug seibert

10:29AM | 03/28/05
Member Since: 08/10/02
842 lifetime posts
They look different......I know they're not as interesting as your old switches.....but you can purchase the triple plate and the 3 switches that control the relays "Off-the-shelf".......(so you can sell the house).......


wimsey70

07:04AM | 03/29/05
Member Since: 03/27/05
7 lifetime posts
Thanks! I _hope_ those would work? We'd probably have to hire a professional, because my husband can't figure out how those would wire in.

Here's photos of our existing switches:

http://tveverka.tripod.com/switch1.jpg

http://tveverka.tripod.com/switch2.jpg

http://tveverka.tripod.com/switch3.jpg

MistressEll

07:50AM | 03/31/05
Member Since: 01/30/05
361 lifetime posts
Well I have no idea what kind of electrical system you are referring to. Are you saying your entire house is stepped down voltage via a transformer? Is this DC or AC voltage? Is this a mobile or modular home? Or are you just referring to a particular lighting circuit that these swtiches were a part of?

Those photos of that switch show that 2 resistors have been soldered on the back, I find that interesting. Were these 3 way switches(2 switches controling same fixtures)? Otherwise I'm confused as it appears that one is going from the black to the neutral and the other from the switch lead (red) to the neutral, and appears to be some kind of modification.

Those resistors show in the pictures Brown, Red, Red space, Gold stripes. This would indicate that they are each 1200 Ohms with a 5% tolerance. (The first Brown indicates 1, the first Red indicates a 2, and the second red in the third position indicates 00 (2 zeros) giving one a total marking of 1200 Ohms. The space is a seperation in the markings to indicate that the next band is for the tolerance, and Gold (metalic) is a plus/minus 5%, meaning that the resistance is 1200 Ohms with a plus minus 60 ohms or a resistor that offers 1140-1260 ohms.

I hope this helps with your investigation, but without a source and a schematic for your switch I can't begin to help you.

"low voltage" is just not sufficient information to begin to assist you.

MistressEll

07:55AM | 03/31/05
Member Since: 01/30/05
361 lifetime posts
Frankly these look like component switches that were pulled from an old stove unit for its ambient/work lighting. Where were these switches installed and how?

wimsey70

08:49AM | 03/31/05
Member Since: 03/27/05
7 lifetime posts
I gather that low-voltage electrical systems were "cutting edge" back in the 60's and 70's. Basically, a transformer in our attic changes the 120 volt line voltage to 24 volts. A relay actually controls the light, and is activated by the contact on the rocker switch.

All of the lights (and ceiling fans, and some outlets) in our house are controlled by this type of switch, and they are apparently common for this type of electrical system. (If you do a search on "low voltage electrical" on these forums, you'll see I'm not the first to post about this issue.)

I don't pretend to have a great deal of electrical knowledge (or any). I turned to this forum because none of the electricians I called in this area have any familiarity with this type of system, and, as I said, we need the light switches to work when we put the house on the market.

Here's a photo of the switches in the switchplate:

http://tveverka.tripod.com/rocker_switch.jpg

-Tanya


wimsey70

08:51AM | 03/31/05
Member Since: 03/27/05
7 lifetime posts
Oh, Doug sent me email which said:

Black and Red are On and Off. The switch needs to send a signal (both ON and OFF) to tell the latching relay to Make or Break the household current.

Don't know if that helps anyone else.


doug seibert

09:03AM | 03/31/05
Member Since: 08/10/02
842 lifetime posts
Did you try shorting the wires.........?

MistressEll

10:10AM | 04/04/05
Member Since: 01/30/05
361 lifetime posts
Dear Wimsey70:

There IS a replacement including the wall switches that will work for you!!!

Okay here goes: your system is three-wire. There IS a specific one that will work, but you MUST specify that you are using for a 3-wire system (mention the GE low voltage old system). It will come complete with the wiring diagram as well.

Now, the face plate will have six buttons on them top for on, bottom for off, But IT WILL WORK YAY!!

It is made by touch-plate lighting, it is their model 5606 (specified when you order that you are using for THREE-WIRE system).

This will replace your three switch switch plate completely. It looks a LITTLE like the model CCN but no LED's.

Their web site is touchplate.com, their phone number is 1-800-227-5154. check them out, call them, have them e-mail you the PDF wiring diagram for your application (specify old GE low-voltage house system).

I just LOVE finding the obscure solution!!!

Please post back and advise this worked for you or not!!!!

Sincerely,

"Ell"
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