"Silent" Commercial Switch

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Old 07-27-19, 05:45 PM
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"Silent" Commercial Switch

One of the 3-way switches that controls my family room ceiling lights is failing. I have recently read that it is worth the extra couple of $ to upgrade when changing out switches and outlets for longer term durability and safety. I went to the local big box hardware store and noticed that all the "commercial" switches switches make a distinctive "click" like the light switches of my youth. I really don't want the old fashioned "click" if I can avoid it, I am used to silent switches. I know they used to make mercury switches, don't know how widely available they are any more, and while I don't mind spending $6 for a quality switch, I am not interested in spending $15. I did notice that the commercial "rocker" type switches seemed quieter than the everyday type of commercial switch but, again, more money.

Does anyone know of a commercial or higher quality 3-way switch that is silent and reasonably priced?

Thanks in advance!!!
 
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Old 07-27-19, 07:31 PM
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Pick the quietest switch you can find.
Although a quality device is important..... it's more important with receptacles rather than switches.
 
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Old 07-27-19, 07:37 PM
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Thanks Pete, that is a surprise, I would have expected the switch quality was more important. I ended up buying a commercial Leviton Decora from ebay, we will see. If I am not happy the quiet switches from Lowe's etc are cheap.

I also found out the NOS mercury switches are silent and rumored to last longer than anything and are available on ebay, but that seems like a bad idea.
 
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Old 07-27-19, 07:54 PM
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Any switch found today using mercury would have to be new old stock.
They haven't made mercury switches or thermostats in a long time.
 
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Old 07-28-19, 06:02 AM
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Typical household light silent switches should last a long time. Eventually any mechanical device will fail. If used moderately, say a dozen to two dozen times a day, should last 20 - 30 years.
 
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Old 07-28-19, 07:07 AM
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Decora switches will make a pretty heavy click. Standard toggles are likely going to be the quieter depending on how they are installed and if they hit the cover plate when flipped. Some type of electronic switch will be the quietest but likely only be available in a dimmer.
 
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Old 07-28-19, 08:49 AM
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Well, that is too bad that the Decora is going to be loud also. I did look at electronics and, as you suspected, I only found dimmers.

Norm201, yes, this switch is probably 25+ years old. I just always think that when I am doing the work myself, I will put the little extra money saved into the highest quality for safety and long term durability. When I find a broken switch the first thing I think is "Oh Man! this was a fire waiting to happen".

Thanks to All for all the insight!
 
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Old 08-02-19, 01:56 PM
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Update:
I received the Decora switches and the new wallplate. On removing the old switches I realized what the problem was; one of the wires simply fell out of the "quick connect" in the back of the switch. The commercial Decora have a "clamp style" wire grabber with a screw to tighten and it seems like a superior connection method.

Yes, the Decoras make a "click" but it is no where near the "solidness" and loudness of the traditional commercial switch, I am fine with it.

Thanks for all the help.
 
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Old 08-03-19, 04:45 AM
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Those stab connection are not recommend just because of what you experienced. Don't why code they allow them.
 
 

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