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cbass

Old GE switches?

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Hey guys, I was at a house today (55 years old) with this really interesting switch system. I was told that 50 some years ago these were high end switches that GE made. My concern was 1) are they safe? and 2) availability of replacement parts (im sure they are no longer made...). Every time that you would use a switch it would buzz and the fixture would click. There are visible "switches" in most of the fixtures that i could see that im assuming activate the certain fixture (several small wires were connected to these "switches"). It was like zoned switches, where the dial (two in home) would select a certain room and then the adjacent switch would turn lights on or off. I guess i am just looking for any and all info you guys have on them (verbiage, how often they were used, geographics etc.). Im assuming that switching back to a conventional switch system would involve significant re-wiring? Thanks in advance.

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If that is what I think it is - a Low voltage switch system - somewhere, probably in the attic, there is a large panel with a virtual rat's nest of wiring and connections. There may be transformers in that panel to drop 120 v down to the low voltage, and then wires from there to the various switches and outlets.

To make additions or modifications now would probably require a lot of time spent figuring out what wires go where to do what. I suppose an advantage is that there are fewer 120 volt circuits in the house, so a lower potential for fire or shock.

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