simple switch

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  #1  
Old 11-23-12, 12:45 PM
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simple switch

I have a light that will not turn off so i got a new switch. The light still will not turn off, but now when I try, there is a buzzing in the ceiling. What is up there and what do i need to do about it?
 
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Old 11-23-12, 12:53 PM
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What is up there and
We won't know till you look and tell us. Is this a fixture with a screw in bulb. If so what kinf of bulb? Or is this a fluorescent fixture with tubes?

What color wires connected to the switch?
 
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Old 11-23-12, 12:55 PM
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If it's a normal light/switch you find in homes, I would kill the breaker for that light right away.
Normal lights generally don't buzz.

Now what kind of light is this?
 
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Old 11-23-12, 01:15 PM
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Are there fairly small wires attached to the switch? You might have low voltage wiring that uses relays and you have a relay that is stuck.
 
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Old 11-23-12, 02:17 PM
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Note if this is a low voltage system and you replaced the old switch with a regular light switch then it will almost certainly not work.
 
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Old 11-23-12, 03:13 PM
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It's a bathroom vanity light with regular screw in light bulbs. The old switch is a small rocker switch with a green, a white and a red wire. I was going to change all the switches to regular ones and since this one was acting up, I thought I would start here. When it started buzzing up in the ceiling, I just left the breaker off until I find out what is going on. I haven't tore the ceiling down yet, but I will if I have to. Thank you for any help you can give me.
 
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Old 11-23-12, 03:18 PM
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It's a bathroom vanity light with regular screw in light bulbs. The old switch is a small rocker switch with a green, a white and a red wire.
That is probably a momentary contact switch for low voltage. The buzzing is almost certainly from a relay and caused by putting in a non momentary contact switch. Can you post a picture of the switch you took out?
 
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Old 11-23-12, 03:29 PM
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I agree with Ray. You should not have to tear out the ceiling to get at the relay, don't you have a scuttle hole up to the attic?
 
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Old 11-23-12, 05:27 PM
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I hope I did this right. If so, these are the 3 switches I took out. Only 1 was hooked up. But this shows different angles so you can see it better. And, yes, I can get up in the attic, I just haven't noticed any relay boxes up there before but they might just be under the boards to walk on or the insulation. If these switches are what you think, do you think a new switch is all I need or should I replace the relay too?
 
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Old 11-24-12, 01:41 AM
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Those are definitely low voltage switches and can not be replaced with a standard toggle wall switch. Those switches hardly ever went bad. However the relays had many problems. The link I left you is for the most common GE type relay.

The relay could be mounted to the side of the junction box for the light. Sometimes they installed relays in a bank of several in a common area.

GE Low Voltage Remote Control Relay Switch
 
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Old 11-24-12, 03:19 AM
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Thank you, I will go looking today and see what I can find up there.
 
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Old 11-24-12, 04:27 AM
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Interesting......is this type of setup common?.....never seen this in a home.

Is it only the control that is low voltage?.....what about the bulbs?

So the rocker switches are momentary and the relay is latching? (dual coil)

Would all the general lighting in the house be like this?.....one transformer?

Are we talking 1950's era......what would have been the advantage of such a system?

Seems it would have been an expensive luxury at the time.

Just trying to learn what this is all about.....Thanks



.
 
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Old 11-24-12, 06:27 AM
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I don't think the low voltage switching system from GE was all that common, but there were quite a few installed up into the 80s that I am aware of. I have seen these in both residential and commercial installations. I am not sure exactly when GE brought this system out, maybe someone else on the forum would know. Yes, it is only the switching control of the relays that is low voltage, the light fixtures themselves were line voltage in the systems I was familiar with.
 
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Old 11-24-12, 06:46 AM
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I have these on one of my stairways. Light fixture on top and bottom landing, 2 rocker switches on each landing. The relays snap into a knockout hole in the junction box with the low voltage (24V) connections outside the box and line voltage connections inside. I installed it sometime in the 80s. The advantage is being able to control a fixture from multiple switches without running heavy gauge wire with complicated connections to each switch. Just tap the rocker switch to turn on/off. If you hold the button down you will hear it buzz.
 
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Old 11-24-12, 08:43 AM
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It was a system sort of ahead of its time. We had several customers with large houses that used these relays. I can remember banks of 10 in a row. Spent many hours changing those relays.
 
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Old 11-24-12, 02:57 PM
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You replaced a momentary switch with a maintained contact switch. That's why the coil is buzzing in the ceiling. Seems like these GE low-voltage systems have been discussed here before. Do a search & I'm sure you will find more information.
 
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