12 volt Home electrical system?

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One big problem was maintenance. These were usually installed in a home during the original construction. The relays were mounted in electric box cutouts with the relay mechanism outside the box and inaccessible behind the plasterboard.
If a relay went bad, it was almost impossible to replace it without smashing a hole in the wall.
The switches also went bad, from time to time. They were really no more than SPDT momentary doorbell buttons.
Beachcomber
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On Tue, 07 Nov 2006 02:17:01 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@notreal.none (Beachcomber) wrote:

I didn't know they made SPDT doorbell buttons. Every one I've seen has been SPST. SPST would be enough for controlling relays too.

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Mark Lloyd wrote:

There is a whole line of switches made for these things. Actually, they are not strictly SPDT, but are momentary SPDT with a center off (the rest position). They have them in single, double, triple, etc gang. When my new church was built about 20 years ago, the wonderful architect designed 2 multi-purpose rooms, but didn't put in light switches. The switches, actually breakers, were far from the rooms. I can't tell you how many times, during a meeting, someone at the breaker panel, while turning off other light, would plunge our meeting into darkness. There were 2 circuits in each of the 2 rooms. I put in the GE relays and 2 switches in each of the 2 rooms. The circuit breakers were marked, "you touch, you die" .... well not actually. They were moved to the bottom of the breaker box. Anyway, I used the low voltage units because I had to snake the wires through concrete block walls, which is nearly impossible. So, the low voltage wires actually come down from the ceiling in an adjacent closet. I could have run conduit, but it would have been much more difficult. I have had 1 of the relays and 2 of the switches fail in 20 years. I think the switch failed because the relay was intermittent and people were pressing it harder and harder .... finally breaking the switch. BTW, I 1st saw this stuff in the 60s in a custom built house. Also, in the late 70s, I worked for a company that used them in all their offices for lighting.
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Thanks so much fellas!
by the way, I'm in Kansas... the wire is probably 14 gauge or whatever code is. The relay stuff was all that I was concerned with.... sorry for stating "16 gauge" when it's actually the usual romex.
Very glad to hear I don't have to replace my entire house electrical just to add a few can lights... From what I've gathered from all of your comments, I can just work around these relays and switches and just make new runs from my breaker box.
Art Todesco wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Talking about 16 gauge Romex, I was in Bangkok in the late 90s and in the hotel, I noted that the lights in the closets were wired with 16 gauge Romex. Of course, being non-US, it was 240 volts and was probably fused at 7 amps. I was shocked to see Romex in a large, downtown, many story building. But, I guess the codes are different there and most US cities.
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wrote:
[snip]

I've seen the ones that work like 2 SPST switches with a common button, where you press on one end to close one switch, the other end to close the other switch. They may be designed with a common connection. Such a switch might be used with a 2-coil latching relay, for on and off. I don't know why you'd use one for a doorbell.
BTW, I have been considering such a switching circuit for my bedroom.
[snip]
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Not true, they were almost always mounted in 1900 boxes at light or outlet locations and the relays come out the same way they go in. You do have to remove the fixture and or outlet first.

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Never heard of this, but what a great idea. Indeed, wish I had this in my place. I have an idea that in places w/ stricter interpretation of the NEC, that this probably wasn't allowed. At one time, NYC allowed only *eight* #12 wires in 1" emt, and *three* in 1/2"! No romex allowed, etc. I believe they've relaxed some of this, but it gives you an idea of how tight-assed some places can be.
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Mr. P.V.\'d (formerly Droll Troll), Yonkers, NY
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com posted for all of us...

straightened out...
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