old fashioned electric switch

johncallSeptember 7, 2009

We live in a 1906 house with wiring from the teens. There are some pushbutton switches in the house, and also there are two "twist" switches -- you spin a switch to turn on/off the light. One of the two is out (they are side by side), and I'd like to replace or repair it to match the remaining one. Does any know if reproduction or refurbished switches like this are available. I've seen lots of push button switches, but I have not seen any of these twisting / spinning switches.

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jake2007

Those are surface mount switches, if we are talking the same thing. They are ceramic, they mount on the top of the wall and the wires connect to them on the outside (usually I've seen the wires run down a board).

Dude, I'm a big fan of historic preservation, but these types of switches are bad news! If you insist on keeping them, I'd make them low-voltage and have them control a relay. I really can't imagine that they could be reproduced and made safe.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2009 at 10:07AM
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scottys

Check Ebay...If you are looking for the surface mounted ones that Jake2007 described, I've seen some on there periodically.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2009 at 11:31PM
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christophersprks

I couldn't find the twist switch, but I found the push button

Here is a link that might be useful: Here are the push-button

    Bookmark   September 11, 2009 at 11:56PM
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terribletom

Yep, you're right: The push-button switches are easy to find. The screw-on rotaries? Not so much.

But even if you manage to find a used one for sale, I'd still pay heed to Jake's point: Are they really safe by today's standards?

Keep in mind that virtually all permanent wiring these days is protected by some kind of a box and that's why there's still a trade in push-button switches. But the days of unprotected, brittle bakelite fixtures screwed onto the wall are pretty much over.

This might be one of those times when foregoing historical integrity in favor of safety is the better part of valor.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2009 at 12:17PM
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tjcarlson5_hotmail_com

http://houseofantiquehardware.com/reproduction/decorative-hardware.html

Sells the older looking push button switches with modern electronics in side.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2011 at 2:09AM
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