Older House / Low Voltage / Electrical Noobie


Old 03-06-05, 09:20 AM
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Older House / Low Voltage / Electrical Noobie

Hi everybody,
First time poster here - glad I found this site.

My mom has a house that was built in 1948. The electrical is pretty much original from what I understand. While there are some "normal" light switches in the house, most of it is comprised of panels with swithes you press in. Sometimes these switches get stuck, and whole parts of the house won't work until you figure out which switch is stuck.

If you look at the following picture you can see an example of the panel I'm talking about - it's the black rectangle with the smaller white rectangles.

In any event, yesterday I replaced 12 flourescent tubes in four different light fixtures - each fixture containing three tubes. Most of the tubes had the black on either end, indicating (from what I know) that they were burnt out. However when I went to turn them on three of the four fixtures didn't work. I could hear the system "click", but nothing fired. One bank of tubes (the one with a normal switch that can be seen in most houses today) worked fine. The other three, all of which have the flat switches you press in, wouldn't.

Here is a picture of the what I believe is the relay (as I stated earlier, I'm a real noobie).

So in short, is there something I can do to try to get these three banks of flourescent tubes working, or is this a job for a professional? I know the problem is somewhere in the relay/box pictured above. Apparently my mom had an electrician out a while back and she indicated the fix is "easy and even you can do it". Is there a good book/resource I can go to so I can learn about this low voltage system?

Thanks everybody,

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Old 03-07-05, 05:06 AM
pgtek's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: north Carolina
Posts: 1,391
From what i can thing is you have a Remco system or GE low voltage.
Learn that in electrical shool course.
It's old lol lol
I'm sure you will need an electrician to fix this problem
it's not DIY stuff.
If the electrician said to your mom "you can do it" i would call him back and say "show me how"

Old 03-07-05, 10:18 PM
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Thanks PG,

Glad you gave me the feedback as I would have been racking my brain trying to figure something out that I would likely never be able to.....

We'll call he electrician and hopefully they can take care of it in short order.

Thanks again,


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