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Old 03-31-2012, 11:36 PM   #1
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Old low voltage lighting system - switches stopped working.


Hello,
I've lived in my grandparents' old home for over 10 years now and came upon a problem last week with the lighting system. My grandfather was an electrician and when he built the home in the late 60's, he installed a low voltage lighting system (I believe a GE system) for several of the rooms. Last week every switch on the system stopped working and I could not turn the lights off in those rooms. This system has a relay at every fixture as far as I can tell and rocker switches on the walls. I'm guessing that the transformer went bad, but I've been reading a few posts that suggest stuck light switches can sometimes be the culprit. I don't know if this applies to my system, however, and wondered if anyone had any suggestions. I know this system is extremely dated and few people work with them, but any help would be appreciated.

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Old 04-01-2012, 12:25 AM   #2
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Old low voltage lighting system - switches stopped working.


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Hello,
I've lived in my grandparents' old home for over 10 years now and came upon a problem last week with the lighting system. My grandfather was an electrician and when he built the home in the late 60's, he installed a low voltage lighting system (I believe a GE system) for several of the rooms. Last week every switch on the system stopped working and I could not turn the lights off in those rooms. This system has a relay at every fixture as far as I can tell and rocker switches on the walls. I'm guessing that the transformer went bad, but I've been reading a few posts that suggest stuck light switches can sometimes be the culprit. I don't know if this applies to my system, however, and wondered if anyone had any suggestions. I know this system is extremely dated and few people work with them, but any help would be appreciated.
If any of the low voltage switches do not work then most likely the transfomer is shot you will have to find it in few different location depending on the set up it can be in basement or attic or one of the wall in garage or ulity room one of the three locations typically found.

For the transfomer do NOT use standard 16 volt doorbell transfomer the voltage is too low to activie it so you use the 24 volt transfomer ( 40 VA is most common size ) some case you may have two transfomers in there so just give you a head up with it.

The most common relay is GE RR7 or RR5 depending on the switch conferation is.

I will post the photo what it look like real quick so you will know what to look for.




The low voltage conductor will useally be outside of the junction box while the line voltage conductors will be inside the junction box. ( this will be little tricky to do the troubleshooting when you do the Line voltage side so make sure the circuit you work on is off first )

Hope that should help you with this one.

Merci,
Marc

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Old 04-01-2012, 12:43 AM   #3
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Old low voltage lighting system - switches stopped working.


Thanks for the quick reply Marc! My father and I worked on the system a little today and have located the transformer. It is in the attic. He had a spare transformer he had ordered several years back, since his house uses a similar low voltage system as well (my grandfather installed both systems). The transformer he has, however, looks slightly different than the one in the attic, but we think it will work. We just want to make sure the wiring is correct. The old transformer has a large black wire and white wire spliced into the main power source and two screws on top of the transformer with 3 black and green wires going to one screw and 2 white wires going to the other screw.

The new transformer is similar and looks like the one in the link below.

http://www.kyledesigns.com/product/R...ansformer.html
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Old 04-01-2012, 12:48 AM   #4
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Old low voltage lighting system - switches stopped working.


Also, I started thinking about changes we have made to the system over the years. Last year, I installed a ceiling fan in place of chandelier lights that were originally on the system and wondered if that could also have any effect on anything. I still used the same relay and rocker switch for it though.
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Old 04-02-2012, 12:31 AM   #5
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Old low voltage lighting system - switches stopped working.


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Also, I started thinking about changes we have made to the system over the years. Last year, I installed a ceiling fan in place of chandelier lights that were originally on the system and wondered if that could also have any effect on anything. I still used the same relay and rocker switch for it though.
I think it should not affect but I do not have the rating listing with me but IIRC they should handle the motour load without issue like your ceiling fan that don't draw much current at all.

Merci,
Marc
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Old 08-02-2013, 11:07 AM   #6
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Old low voltage lighting system - switches stopped working.


This morning, I tried to turn on my daughter's light and it would not come on. We also have the relays from the 50's 60's or 70's. If I held the rocker switch on, it would flicker but would not turn on. After playing with this for quite some time, I finally got the light to come on. Now that it is off, I can not get it to come on again. It does flash but will not turn on. There are two switches in the room and neither will turn on the light. It is the only light in the house that is malfunctioning. Any suggestions? Thanks.

Keith
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Old 08-02-2013, 10:42 PM   #7
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Old low voltage lighting system - switches stopped working.


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This morning, I tried to turn on my daughter's light and it would not come on. We also have the relays from the 50's 60's or 70's. If I held the rocker switch on, it would flicker but would not turn on. After playing with this for quite some time, I finally got the light to come on. Now that it is off, I can not get it to come on again. It does flash but will not turn on. There are two switches in the room and neither will turn on the light. It is the only light in the house that is malfunctioning. Any suggestions? Thanks.

Keith
Bonjour Keith.,

The flicking light useally tell the relay concats are going bad so that is one of the most common cuprit.

You will have to find where the low voltage relays are located but typically useally in attic or basement and some case in garage as well ( only if attached garage.)

Check the power at the relay ( you will have to find which one is used for that room ) and see if you can bypass if the luminaire do come on full brightenss without flickering then the relay is bad.

Also the other common cuprit is worn out low voltage switch ( you will have to pay attetion to the connections on this one and type of low voltage switch by either mantained concant or mometeary concants < Most common is mometary verison >

So replace the relay then switch to see if that clear up.

Merci,
Marc
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Old 04-14-2014, 07:31 PM   #8
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Old low voltage lighting system - switches stopped working.


The other day we had all of the switches stop working. If the lights are on they won't go off and if they are off they will not go on. There is 28 volts coming out of the transformer. It goes to some sort of resistor and then to one large relay, which appears to be a RR4, now replaced with RR9. We have replaced the relay and still no good. I would not be led to believe that all relays burned out at once. While exchanging the RR9, a light that was previously off is now on but will not go back off. Any ideas what would cause all of the switches to stop working either in the on or off positions? Thanks.

Keith
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Old 04-14-2014, 07:54 PM   #9
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Old low voltage lighting system - switches stopped working.


Gentlemen.....

4-5 years ago, my wife sold a home to friends, who had several lights go out, and called me. It was a low voltage (switches) system.

I had never seen one before.

What is/was the benefit to a low voltage switching system.??????

TIA

Best


( I subsequently figured it out, don't remember the make, but found the relays that had failed, and replaced them. It was very nicely/expertly run.
As I recall, those relays were $35-40. Just noticed this OP's transformer was $150. I don't understand the advantage of this type system???)
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Old 04-14-2014, 07:58 PM   #10
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Old low voltage lighting system - switches stopped working.


I do not believe that all of the relays went out at once. It seems that there must be one central location. Because every light in the house/garage that go through the relays no longer work, once again, if they are on, they will not go off and if they are off they will not go on. This does not seem like all the relays, and there are a lot of them, burned out at exactly the same time. thanks.

Keith
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Old 04-16-2014, 06:49 AM   #11
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Old low voltage lighting system - switches stopped working.


If a button sticks, it will cause havoc on the entire system.

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