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Old 12-21-2009, 03:08 AM   #1
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How to figure out an unknown switch


Hi all,
I just purchased a new house. And in the master bedroom I have a switch which I have no clue what it does. What do I need to do to figure out what it does. And of course I tried the buttons but they don't do anything that I can see anywhere in the house.

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Old 12-21-2009, 06:59 AM   #2
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How to figure out an unknown switch


It could be a lot of things, attic light, outside floodlight, an uninstalled fan, a wall outlet, etc.

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Old 12-21-2009, 09:05 AM   #3
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How to figure out an unknown switch


I have one in my house in a bank of three. So far I have'nt needed what it does so I have'nt tried to figure where it goes
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Old 12-21-2009, 09:19 AM   #4
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How to figure out an unknown switch


Turn the switch off, then plug something like a light into EVERY outlet in the bedroom. This means top and bottom of each outlet too!

Find an outlet which does not work, turn on the switch and see if the outlet then works...
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Old 12-21-2009, 10:14 AM   #5
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How to figure out an unknown switch


Have you taken the cover plate off to see if anything (meaning, 2 wires at least) is connected to the switch? It might not even be connected. Be careful, because the wiring (and screws on the sides of switches) will be live if you don't turn the breaker off first.
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Old 12-21-2009, 12:29 PM   #6
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How to figure out an unknown switch


Do what BillyBob said first -- it's probably for a switched outlet.

If that's not it, then the next best guess might be a ceiling fan that they took with them.
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Old 12-21-2009, 12:41 PM   #7
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How to figure out an unknown switch


I guess i should add the image. These buttons are not even standard buttons. All the lights and switches in the room are connected even the ceiling fan. and i tested all the plugs when i use the buttons. I opened the plastic cover and there are cables coming and connected. Also i have the same type of connection down stares in the entry hall way.
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Old 12-21-2009, 01:05 PM   #8
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How to figure out an unknown switch


Do those buttons stay in when you press them or do they return to the previous position when released? How old is the house?
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Old 12-21-2009, 02:13 PM   #9
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How to figure out an unknown switch


Push button switches like that would typically go to lighting. (But anything is possible!)

Is there a special ceiling fan switch which controls the light and fan and maybe speed?

Maybe the push button switch previously went to a light where the fan is, then they installed a fan and wanted to control the fan, so had a new separate switch installed for that????
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Old 12-21-2009, 02:34 PM   #10
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How to figure out an unknown switch


Is that pushbutton switch near the entrance to the room?

I've never seen one like that.
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Old 12-21-2009, 11:48 PM   #11
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How to figure out an unknown switch


hey to explain the buttons i took a short video hope helps making some diagnosis.
And dont forget its not just in my bed room i got one in the enterance of the house. which there wont be any fans. Would the HOA know anything about this?
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Old 12-22-2009, 11:31 AM   #12
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How to figure out an unknown switch


Yes, ask your neighbors if all the homes in that area were built at the same time.
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Old 12-22-2009, 01:03 PM   #13
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How to figure out an unknown switch


Its a condo so they all should have it, good idea to ask them. I will try it out.
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Old 12-22-2009, 04:23 PM   #14
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How to figure out an unknown switch


That looks like an old GE low voltage system,(popular on high end homes in the 50.,60 & 70s)their should be a transformer supplying 24 volts to all the switches then on to a 120v relay . heres a pretty good write up on this system. http://www.inspectapedia.com/electri...age_Wiring.htm

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Old 12-22-2009, 07:17 PM   #15
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How to figure out an unknown switch


That could be it, because in the bedroom on one of the out lets there is a 110 to 24(i think) converter plugged in. and funny part, the 24v DC goes back into the outlet from the bottom. When i unplug it nothing happens. curious if its related with the switch. I am going to email this to the HOA but im guessin they are going to say we dont know (meaning we dont care). Now also in the garage there is a transformer look a like which embeded to the wall which i have no clue what it does. But makes a stupid buzzing noise and probably waisting alot of energy.
And support your suggestion the house was built in 78. So i got a volt meter (i have no clue in which box) i will try to check it out see if its actually connected to any power.

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