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bondmatt 06-24-2009 10:59 AM

Odd Electrical System
I have a relative with an old house with a very odd electrical system. The wiring running to all of the switches is phone wire and all this wire runs to a massive box of relays in the attic. Several switches around the house also have dials that can be used to switch lights around the house on and off.

The attic is quite open because the roof is covered with interlocking concrete "shingles". One can clearly see out between them. This seems like a recipe for electrical problems and sure enough the system quit the other day.

I have yet to go take a look but I suspect that since the whole system went offline the problem is nothing more than a break in one of the main lines. Anyone have any experience with these systems? Is there a name I can use to search for more information?

- Matthew Bondy

handyguys 06-24-2009 11:18 AM

Oooo - I have read about those systems! Sorry my memory is foggy. I seem to recall that replacement parts are next to impossible to find (unless used) and that people re-wire conventionally when things go bad.
Dang - I cant remember what its called. I will try and dig it up and post back.

handyguys 06-24-2009 11:27 AM

Here is some info
gelv : GE Low Voltage Switching
Touch-Plate Lighting Controls
GE LOWVOLTAGE LIGHT CONTROL SYSTEM - Fix-it Forum: Home Improvement & Do It Yourself Repair Forum
Good luck

locknut 06-25-2009 06:11 AM

What they have is likely the GE low voltage switching system. If the whole system went out, I'd check its 24volt power transformer. What you call telephone wire is simply and usually sheathed three-conductor signal wire much like what is sold as "thermostat wire." Each of the relays are latching types controlled by momentary SPDT wall switches. The relays are pulsed to on and off positions; they do not draw quiescent current to hold a position. You may have some relays that have extra pilot light lines.

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