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Sliding Man 01-08-2008 02:46 AM

Two electrical questions
My house has these low voltage switches that control any light there connected to. What's bothering me is that every time any of the three switches are pressed you can hear a buzz come from the box next to the circuit breaker. And a click when a light is turned off with these switches. Is this normal operation? My next question is how can I fix this? whoever installed this before just left it like this. This is the outlet for the electric stove and the plug can't even be fully inserted into the outlet.

AllanJ 01-08-2008 08:30 AM

Low voltage lighting always uses a transformer and some transformers will buzz no matter what you do. You could try remounting the transformer, using rubber shims where it is mounted, to see if the buzzing can be reduced.

You will want to cut open the wall and remount the stove receptacle. Not having the plug all the way in could make for a poor connection and a poor connection will heat up, oxidize, and become worse. Even if the plug seems solidly in now, not being all the way in may mean that it might pop back out again slowly, with a gradually worsening connection. It's a fire hazard.

tom25 01-08-2008 12:01 PM

Sounds like your switches are controlling a relay, you might need to
clean the contacts or replace them.
As for the range AllanJ said it all.

Sliding Man 01-10-2008 07:37 PM

Thanks for the reply! Now I just need something to cut into the wall with.

goose134 01-10-2008 09:05 PM

You shouldn't need to cut the wall. If the box you describe is next to the panel, then it should be right there. The noises you are hearing are exactly what you are supposed to hear when this system operates. A low voltage signal from your switch will activate a coil which pulls in the contacts. That is the click you are hearing. Since you hear a buzzing, you have an electrically held contact (not mechanical). Perfectly normal. When you turn off the switch the noise you hear are the contacts slapping back to open position. No more buzzing. Hope this helps

J. V. 01-11-2008 11:55 AM

I would check the voltage supplying the relay coil. Relays should not buzz. If they do, it is either the contacts, coil, iron or the voltage. Replace the relay if the supply voltage is within the volt rating of the coil. Buzzing will stop.
Correct on the sound a relay makes when it opens and closes.

Stubbie 01-11-2008 01:13 PM

Sliding man

Is your low voltage control lighting system the old GE system using the rr-7 relays? If you can isolate the relay in the control box that is making the buzzing you can get new relays or swap out a relay with one of the other relays as a way of trouble shooting which one is bad. Here is a vender that handles the ge parts if this is the system you have....

goose134 01-11-2008 11:49 PM

Really? Coils never buzz? I have not seen this system, but I've seen and heard coils. Excessive buzzing is bad, but a bit of buzzing is kind of natural.

Sliding Man 01-13-2008 08:01 AM

I was talking about cutting the wall for the range outlet. The relays are under a metal plate on the wall next to the breakers. I'm still trying to get it off because the screws are in bad shape.

jwhite 01-13-2008 08:15 AM

I agree with Goose. All electricly held relays buzz. If the acoustics are right (or would it be wrong) this can be annoying, but it is normal.

If they are buzzing too loud, then you have a problem.

As for the wall, what ever you cut it with will get tore up. I would suggest a metal sawzall blade. You can buy handles for them at the hardware store so that you can use them like a hand saw. Be very carefull so as to not cut up the electrical wires that are hiding in the wall.

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