low voltage lighting enables?

Old 08-24-01, 09:31 AM
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I just bought a house and am replacing outlets. The light switches have little (20 guage) wires on them with around 24 volts on them. Somehow these control 120v circuits. How do I figure out what goes where?
Old 08-24-01, 02:44 PM
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Im confused. You're replacing receptacles? Don't you just want to wire the new ones up exactly like the old ones you're taking out? This should be independent of the receptacles.

Even if you're replacing the switches, you again just want to wire them like the old ones. Use exact replacement switches.

Are you just changing the color of your fixtures?
Old 08-25-01, 10:52 AM
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Your receptacle replacement if you have existing three prong receptacles with an equipment grounding conductor ran with your branch circiuts then just replace apples for apples and wires for wires reconnecting the new receptacle wired same as the old receptacle.

If you have two prong receptacles which I suspect when you mentioned the low voltage switching you will have to either run a new receptacle circuit with a romex including an equipment grounding conductor and install a new branch receptacle circuit in the old ones place, or replace the two prong receptacles with new two prong receptacles, or run a single equipment grounding conductor to the panel from each receptacle and install three prong receptacles, or install a GFI protective device protecting that old two wire receptacle circuit and install three prong receptacles installing warning tagges showing these three prong receptacles are without a grounding conductor and with GFI protection.

Now as for replacing your older low voltage 24 volt switches you have four options that I can think of. Option one, search the net for a site that offers replacement low voltage switches matching what you have. [probably going to be hard to do]. Option two, rewire you older low voltage switches with 120 volt switches installing a 120 volt rated swtich leg matching the amp rating of the 120 volt circuit serving power to the light fixtures, you will find a constant power source at the light fixture, just run a 12 or 14/2 Romex from that light fixture where your low voltage relay is located and install a 120 volt rated switching system. Option three, remove the older low voltage switch and delete the low voltage wire between the low voltage switch or switches controlling that relay and also remove the older low voltage relay found in the light fixture box. Then install what is called a smart switch that sends an RF signal through the wiring system sending a signal to a new style relay that will react to that specially assigned frequency in your light fixture box where you found the older rely. You will have to install a normal switch box at the switch locations and install a 12 or 14/2 romex to the nearest power source such as a receptacle supplying power to the smart switch and also connecting that smart switch to the wiring sytem to complete the RF signal path to the relay assigned to react to that smart switch. Option 4, go to a larger electrical wholesale supply house and ask them to order a momentary contact switch that is double throw and looks like a normal light switch. You will have to install a normal light box to contain this momentary contact switch that is double throw and looks like a normal light switch. This momentary light switch will operate you older low voltage relays in your light fixtures using the low voltage wire originally installed between the switch and the relay location. This momentary light switch may be 120 volt rated but may be used with the low voltage relays. This fourth option is you least invasive method of upgrading your low voltage switches to look new.

However before you make a final decision which way to go keep in mind finding replacement relays for this older low voltage switching is getting harder and harder to find. You may want to undertake a new wiring design such as the smart switching or normal high voltage switching design.

Hope this helps


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