or like this but a brass toggle?
In a house that an ex-GF used to rent, all the light switches were the
thick solid brass wall plates with the nice crisp beveled edges, they
had a single small hole in the center with a brass handled real toggle
switch in them. I ASSumed that that was what the OP meant, but I don't
know a source (although the first link you posted looks close.)
replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
The switch is similar to these:
Varilight seems to be the main brand in the UK for these type of switches,
but I am not sure how well these wall plates (metric?) will mate with a U.S.
I'll see if the original switch has any markings on it as to who the
If you have plates and only the switch has failed, you could simply
replace the toggle switch in the plate?
I don't know of anybody making them w/ brass handles, though...
Mouser or Digikey undoubtedly have suitable switches excepting for the
I'll allow as I've never seen that in a house, though...lots of the
pushbuttons; never a toggle switch.
I'm curious about these switches, which I'm guessing are not the same as
the typical "bat-handle" toggle switches that others have suggested
replacing them with here. Any chance you could post some pictures
somewhere so we could see what they look like?
I am a Canadian who was born and raised in The Netherlands. I live on
Planet Earth on a spot of land called Canada. We have noisy neighbours.
I didn't want to pull the switch out to look for markings, the wiring is
very tight and somewhat fragile. My friend got an electrician to give the
switches a "tune up" so we're good for now...
I've never seen those--where is this geographically and any idea on
actual time frame when these were installed?
Is the one a 3-way?
What did the electrician do as a "tune up"--spray them w/ contact
cleaner or somesuch or just tighten connections, etc.? I'd be a little
nonplussed by the amount of apparent corrosion products around the
terminals that would make me want to see if they're running warm.
But, I've no clue where you would find anything evem remotely resembling
Cleveland, OH, USA, house built in 1923.
I am not sure what he did to tune them up, but if memory serves when the
switches are pulled from the box I believe the contacts are accessible and
can be cleaned.
The switch on the left is a 3-way.
Rehabbing the switches, as you have done, may be the best solution.
state historic preservation office - for advice
architectural salvage company
historic houses - for advice
As you probably know, the original wall plate would have been brass with
round holes that matched the switches.
I'm still most curious as to how one "rehabs" a sealed ceramic switch???
Other than that, good thoughts for renovation/restoration tips.
I saw none of the links even to the UK switches had a 3-way listed as
available; only 1-4 gang combinations.
Going to be a pickle if really need one of these puppies methinks in the
US. Will be interested to see if eventually uncovers a source--I could
see using one or two in the old house meself just 'cuz they are kewl... :)
I broached going back to the original-to-this-house pushbuttons that Dad
replaced w/ silents when folks did the renovations but swmbo didn't like
the idea that much... :(
In our house there are a couple of the old push-button switches. When
we moved in 15 yrs ago one of them was not working well, it would make
contact intermittently and did not feel right when pushing it in.
After not finding a similar replacement available (this was just
before widespread Net shopping) I decided to just take it out and see
if I could rehab it. A good cleaning and regreasing was all it needed
- nice solid brass innards, good stout springs, etc. - it was built to
last. 15 years later it is working fine. You might find the same
applies to yours. -- H
If they're the style that were disassemble-able, surely; the pic's OP
showed indicate he has a ceramic-encased style. Mayhaps there's a way
to get one apart but couldn't see so from what was shown.
The problem here isn't mechanical nor electrical, it's "permissional"... :)
The old switches are in a box in the barn; all that I've looked at seem
just fine (lacking grounds, etc., but then again, we went quite a long
time pretty satisfactorily before that was a requirement, anyway...)
From what I gleaned looking at the UK switch web sites, they refer to a
3-way as an "intermediate" switch, and they are indeed available. Though
it's hard to tell from the UK sites whether a multiple ganged switch plate
could be disassembled from the face plate and one switch replaced with a
Guess you delved deeper than I, then... :)
I didn't see that but I didn't do extensive looking, either...
Will be most interested in what you finally find out/do...in a former
life did many early refurbishments in Lynchburg, VA, from
antebellum-vintage to pre-Depression era that had all sorts of old and
occasionally odd or unique electrical stuff from either initial wiring
or retrofits. But, I hadn't come across these down there...
I have seen old, but more familiar, pushbutton switches that look
similar. The back of the switch was open and the internal mechanism
could be removed. In the picture there are 2 or 4 yellowish plugs on the
face. These probably cover screws that can be removed to allow the
mechanism to come out.
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