Updating electrical switches

ASHDUMP

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Another fun thing that I like to use.... get a voltage detector (one of those things that buzzes when its near high voltage AC) test it before each use (hold it near a live circuit or even a lamp cord and make sure it sounds) and know how to use it. Even though you think you've shut off the mains, you can use it to verify "yes this circuit is actually not hot anymore". It's easy to get confused, flick a wrong breaker, or think that you flipped the right one and something is still hot, etc. It's a cheap safety tool. And always test it before use... if left idle long enough, the batteries can die and they'll stop chirping.

-Mike
This is a must have. Just used mine tonight...
Greenlee GT-12A Non-Contact Voltage Detector https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00FAME70M/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_aneEDbAH3QZ39
 

Rob Boudrie

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I guess I date myself. I use the neon (should not have said LED) light you touch to neutral and the line being tested.
 
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01906

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My house is 100% decora. It's not hard, But I wouldn't do it myself. If you have a good efficient electrician. He can do an entire house in a couple of hours. That would take you or I, 2 days to do. Money well spent if you ask me.
 

Uzi2

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That's not LED, it's a neon bulb.:D

LEDs are DC operated, Neon bulbs are AC operated and used to be a common AC power switch indicator on all types of equipment before LEDs became prevalant and inexpensive.
 
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I'll +1 the leviton switches and outlets. They are absolutely worth the extra. Double so if installing the outlets with USB on them, as the USB's wont vampire your electric bill unless you plug something into them.
 
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cockpitbob

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Tell this to the idiot electrical inspector in Waltham who insisted I get my electrician to replace a standard receptacle with a GFCI one for the hood (way more than 6 ft from the sink, as the law says; he just woke up that morning decided to make someone's life harder) or else he would not sign my permit (even though homeowners are allowed to do electrical work in MA per the state chief electrical inspector). I hate government dickheads.
Sadly, jobs that give a person power over other people tend to attract people who like power. Worse is that most of those jobs are .gov jobs which are hard to get fired from.
 

atmay

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Leviton. And, as previously suggested, get one of those things that tells you if voltage is present.

I found out the hard way, at least twice (possibly more), that double gangs are sometimes fed from separate circuits.

The little doodad that lights up because that wire you’re about to touch is still live is cheap insurance.

Also: take the time while you’re doing this stuff to comprehensively map out which circuit what is on. The wiring in my condo is shockingly (literally!) convoluted, and I’m glad to have a diagram to refer to now.
 

Dennis in MA

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Once you replace all the switches you will.have to replace all.the outlets to match . This project will seem to go on forever. Stop now in the
thinking/planning stage . Save your self some money and wasted time and don't try to fix something that isent broken .
A year ago, I got new lights in my living room. The switch is off-white and the plate is white. Or vice versa. Teh entire house, save a few outlets, are off-white. Circa 1994 construction. I actually prefer the off-white. It doesn't stand out as much. But amazingly, not a single person has walked out of my house because all of my outlets/switches/covers are mis-matched.


Wow....so far no Electricians have chimed in saying how we need to hire them.
I am surprised.....
It's on the order of "I've just got a W-2, do I need a CPA" or "I've got 3 drug convictions, should I hire an attorney to get my LTC?" level of professionalism. If you are comfortable with doing it and shut off the power, it's a bit harder than average to screw it up. (Although I did a pretty good job of it. LOL)



As far as penis versus FUPA switches - I'm a penis-switch sorta guy. Easier to identify in the dark. It doesn't affect my manhood seeing a bunch of penis-switches around. Although most of the doors in my house are levers instead of knobs. So much easier to open with full hands.
 

new guy

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As far as penis versus FUPA switches - I'm a penis-switch sorta guy. Easier to identify in the dark. It doesn't affect my manhood seeing a bunch of penis-switches around. Although most of the doors in my house are levers instead of knobs. So much easier to open with full hands.
I have a bunch of young kids running around so I like to use my mouth to flip switches and open doors when I can, to keep the old immune system updated (obviously). As a straight dude, doing that with penis switches and conventional doorknobs would just be too weird.
 

Palladin

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Wow....so far no Electricians have chimed in saying how we need to hire them.
I am surprised.....
I couldn't give a shit if you hired me for it or not..wait til you're doing a bank of three, shut the power for the single pole, but didn't realize the 3way was fed from another circuit...OR the common is mixed up on 3ways and you produce a hot neutral..."why won't the light go off????

I see the classes at HD on Saturdays on doing this stuff and hand out business cards...I get one call/week

[rofl]
 

atmay

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As far as penis versus FUPA switches - I'm a penis-switch sorta guy. Easier to identify in the dark. It doesn't affect my manhood seeing a bunch of penis-switches around. Although most of the doors in my house are levers instead of knobs. So much easier to open with full hands.
I can elbow dick switches pretty well in both directions....but thankfully, the dining room light is a FUPA switch, since it is a lot easier to elbow with a plate (or four) full of food in my hands. Plus drinks.
 
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Wow....so far no Electricians have chimed in saying how we need to hire them.
I am surprised.....
Meh,... outlets and switches are pretty straight up. most of the good wacks come from grabbing the switch or outlet with one hand and getting the screws on each side. The path is finger to thumb, so it's not dangerous, but hurts enough to make you feel stupid for grabbing it that way. Every time I pull one out that has electricial tape wrapped around it (to cover the screws), I giggle.
 

AHM

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... neon. Generally there is a resistor in series ...

I have one of those and have been using it for about 50 yrs now.
Many claim to support higher voltages.
At least 220VAC, sometimes higher (the 600's).
I put my father's on a radio (TV?) B+ once.
Smoke started coming out.
Oops.
I disconnected.
It still worked.

I'll +1 the leviton switches and outlets. They are absolutely worth the extra. Double so if installing the outlets with USB on them, as the USB's wont vampire your electric bill unless you plug something into them.
I was really impressed that whatever brand I bought at Owe's will induce Androids
to pull >=1A from both ports.

Wow....so far no Electricians have chimed in saying how we need to hire them.
I am surprised.....
They think we need to hire them -
they just have enough work already.

A year ago, I got new lights in my living room. The switch is off-white and the plate is white. Or vice versa. ... amazingly, not a single person has walked out of my house because all of my outlets/switches/covers are mis-matched.
Have you noticed fewer proselytizers knocking at your door lately?
There's a photo of your house on the cork board down at the church hall.

I have a bunch of young kids running around so I like to use my mouth to flip switches and open doors when I can, to keep the old immune system updated (obviously).
You should try driving a school bus.

I can elbow dick switches pretty well in both directions...
Takes accuracy or you can hit your funny bone.
 

RumRunner

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Meh,... outlets and switches are pretty straight up. most of the good wacks come from grabbing the switch or outlet with one hand and getting the screws on each side. The path is finger to thumb, so it's not dangerous, but hurts enough to make you feel stupid for grabbing it that way. Every time I pull one out that has electricial tape wrapped around it (to cover the screws), I giggle.
I've always put tape around the screws, was taught to do that about 30+ years ago and it's just habit now. Luckily I've never been zapped while doing any electrical, and I've done quite a bit over the years. But I always triple check that the power is off to where I am working. Of course now that I said that... Gonna have to change to quadruple checking now :D
 

Behind Enemy Lines

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Anyone want Ivory colored devices? Cleaning out my shop and have a ton of plugs(most regular, some decora), switches, and plates. Give me a count of what you want, I'll get them ready and you can come get them. These are Ivory, not Light Almond.
 

Palladin

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Anyone want Ivory colored devices? Cleaning out my shop and have a ton of plugs(most regular, some decora), switches, and plates. Give me a count of what you want, I'll get them ready and you can come get them. These are Ivory, not Light Almond.
nobody installs Ivory anymore...it's white or Almond
 
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AHM

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nobody installs Ivory anymore...it's white or Almond
Could be worse.

In the 1970's America was probably ->this<- close
to getting switches, outlets, and wall plates in Avocado and Coppertone.
 
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Anyone want Ivory colored devices? Cleaning out my shop and have a ton of plugs(most regular, some decora), switches, and plates. Give me a count of what you want, I'll get them ready and you can come get them. These are Ivory, not Light Almond.
nobody installs Ivory anymore...it's white or Almond
Isn't ivory white?

Where are you? The garage doesn't care.


Could be worse.

In the 1970's America was probably ->this<- close
to getting switches, outlets, and wall plates in Avocado and Coppertone.
I have these odd hammered copper ones in the kitchen. Upstairs bath has chrome. I'm guessing 60's or 70's. They still work just fine.
 
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Behind Enemy Lines

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Isn't ivory white?

Where are you? The garage doesn't care.




I have these odd hammered copper ones in the kitchen. Upstairs bath has chrome. I'm guessing 60's or 70's. They still work just fine.
Ivory is a tan color wrt electrical devices. I'm in Sandwich on the Cape.
 
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