Has anyone seen this type of switch before?

roger

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Retired Electrician
Roger I didn't say to hit reply at the bottom. Highlight the text you want to quote and at the end of that highlighted quote the word reply should show up. Just click it
Dennis, I was just pointing out the problem with the "Reply" button not working and a few other things at the moment such as the edit function, I know there are work arounds.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
Looks like they're meant to feed through neutrals, but theyre actually switching the neutrals.
The strap on the right side seems to tell me that.

It is a feed thru terminal as well as the center assembly. One could bring a two wire cable in one end and leave the other with three wire cable with a hot and switched lead if they wanted. These switches, and similar looking receptacles, lampholders and even some terminal block with a KO in the cover for a pendant cord to exit are common around here on old installs with exposed NM cable from a time before EGC's were being run. There are some updated versions of some these devices that do have a EGC terminal in them as well.
1663601466649.png

it is
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
it is a self contained assembly, there is a cover that goes over top of everything and only switch handle sticks through.

I have seen replacements for them in Menards. Sometimes still nice to use one occasionally for replacement purposes, though sometimes the conductors don't reach where you want them to as they aren't always same terminal layout or size as what you are replacing.

Really, it looks like they need special boxes. Do you have a link to them?
 

steve66

Senior Member
Location
Illinois
Occupation
Engineer
Not following this at all. The yoke assembly looks solid from top to bottom, and so does the terminal on the side.

So I can't figure out what is being switched? Edit: Oh, now I see the other black wire on the left side of each switch. But still:

Also, there are 3 neutrals in and 2 neutrals out, but they also have all the neutrals jumpered together at the top? Don't know why?
 

LarryFine

Master Electrician Electric Contractor Richmond VA
Location
Henrico County, VA
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
Logic dictates that the mounting-strap terminals are for EGCs, the feed-through straps are for neutrals, and the actual switch terminals are for hots. Well, my logic anyway.
 

hbiss

EC, Westchester, New York NEC: 2014
Location
Hawthorne, New York NEC: 2014
Occupation
EC
I looks as though the white is being used for the hot which runs through and supplies each switch. The yoke is one side of each switch, the strap is the other which is the switch leg with the blacks on them.

I think for safety purposes I would have put the hots on the straps so taking the cover off doesn't expose the person to that large, energized yoke.

-Hal
 

Dennis Alwon

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Chapel Hill, NC
Occupation
Retired Electrical Contractor
Logic dictates that the mounting-strap terminals are for EGCs, the feed-through straps are for neutrals, and the actual switch terminals are for hots. Well, my logic anyway.


That leaves one terminal for the hot and switch leg....There isn't a terminal at the top left of the switch
 

hornetd

Senior Member
Location
Maryland
Occupation
Journeyman Electrician, Retired
It is a feed thru terminal as well as the center assembly. One could bring a two wire cable in one end and leave the other with three wire cable with a hot and switched lead if they wanted. These switches, and similar looking receptacles, lampholders and even some terminal block with a KO in the cover for a pendant cord to exit are common around here on old installs with exposed NM cable from a time before EGC's were being run. There are some updated versions of some these devices that do have a EGC terminal in them as well.
View attachment 2562179

it is
In the absence of individual copper washers between each conductor there is a word for how the white wires are terminated. Let me think. Oh I remember now. That word is BOGUS!
 

Frank DuVal

Senior Member
Location
Fredericksburg, VA 21 Hours from Winged Horses wi
Occupation
Electrical Contractor, Electrical Engineer
I looks as though the white is being used for the hot which runs through and supplies each switch. The yoke is one side of each switch, the strap is the other which is the switch leg with the blacks on them.
No, the hot is black and the neutral is white. The big red N is very incorrect in the above picture. Look close at all the wires. The power comes in on the far left side "Romex". The power hot feeds the bottom left terminals of all three switches. The power hot to the loads is fed from the top right screws, which include the right side straps. The switched loads get the neutral from the top strap screw terminals in all three cases. The incoming neutral is connected to the top strap screw on the left switch (white and black in same "Romex"), and jumped to the other two switches top strap screw also.

On the middle switch, unswitched power leaves to other loads on the same circuit. Of course, this could be swapped with the far left "Romex" in power in /power out actuality.

The "Romex" on the far right, not contained in a box, is a later hack to feed something else, or to feed this when the actual feed got damaged. Check by disconnecting and see if switch bank still has power. Or ignore? Flying splice in wall.... :mad:


So to summarize, one feed in, two feeds out, and three switched loads out.

Logic dictates that the mounting-strap terminals are for EGCs, the feed-through straps are for neutrals, and the actual switch terminals are for hots.
These predate the grounded straps, and ground wire in the "Romex", so no EGC logic. And the actual switch terminals include the straps on the right side. Look closely at the rivets.
 

Jraef

Moderator
Staff member
Location
San Francisco Bay Area, CA, USA
Occupation
Electrical Engineer


Also, there are 3 neutrals in and 2 neutrals out, but they also have all the neutrals jumpered together at the top? Don't know why?
MWBCs were quite common in the knob-and-tube days. This was done with some early NM cable, but likely within the time frame where K&T was still prominent.
 

VirutalElectrician

Senior Member
Location
Mpls, MN

Dennis Alwon

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Staff member
Location
Chapel Hill, NC
Occupation
Retired Electrical Contractor
I call these AG devices. I typically see them around here in old barns. They were quite popular around here in the era before the 80s. I don't see them used much anymore, but they are still readily available if you look for them.
https://www.google.com/search?q=bak....69i57.3032j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8#ip=1

That doesn't show the interior of the bakelite enclosure. Also these switches look like they have a special box for mounting. I also doubt that the neutral will be allowed to connect to the yoke. I suppose that would be the ground and neutrals just spliced in the box. Defeats the purpose of these
 

tthh

Senior Member
Location
Denver
Occupation
Retired Engineer
Leviton 5231...Apparently you can still buy new ones. Couldn't find the wiring diagram insert, but a couple eBay listing had them in the photos. b.jpg a.jpg
 
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