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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    1

    Default Low Voltage Electrical

    I am looking to purchase a home and the one we like has a low voltage electrical system from the '50s. What are some of the concerns related to a system like this? Parts, wear and tear etc..? Can I upgrade the transformer boxes or would I end up re-wiring the entire system? Would this be a smart purchase or am I buying a headache?
    Thanks for any guidance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    The Great White North
    Posts
    4,045

    Default Re: Low Voltage Electrical

    Quote Originally Posted by Pesky View Post
    I am looking to purchase a home and the one we like has a low voltage electrical system from the '50s. What are some of the concerns related to a system like this? Parts, wear and tear etc..? Can I upgrade the transformer boxes or would I end up re-wiring the entire system? Would this be a smart purchase or am I buying a headache?
    Thanks for any guidance.
    Well -- you could be.
    Basically ---- the low voltage part is generally used for the switching and controlling the lights within the home. Somewhere there is a stepdown transformer that reduces the 120 volts to around 24 volts. From that point the 24 volts is wired to the switches with wiring run to some junction point containing relays. From the relays 120 volts is supplied to the light fixture selected.
    What made these systems unique was a central control(s) that allowed the homeowner to set different controlled features throughout the home from one ( or two ) location(s).

    Consider that most if not all wiring along with the switches and relays are over 50 years old. Likely there has been some sort of issues throughout the years and there might be a hodge podge of repaired wiring and relays done by electricans or homeowners that aren't completely familiar with these systems.

    Overtime the switches and relays wear out and you have very limited resources to obtain replacements and chances are you will pay a premium price for those.

    Unless the 120 volts electrical was upgraded to provide grounded circuits ,you may need to do that as well.

    Is this a deal breaker or not ?

    Personally , unless the home was very attractively priced to allow a budget for electrical upgrades , I would move on and look at others.
    But, that's me --- the choice is yours.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

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