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Touch plate electrical system

Posted By: Gary Baron
Tuesday, 27 June 2000, at 10:06 a.m.

Thank you for the opportunity to pose my question. Here it is (good luck!) We recently purchased an antique home that was built in 1750. The electrical wall switches (lights and certain wall receptacles) is a low voltage system referred to as "touch plate" or "touch panel." I am told this system was popular in the 1960's but was never really popular and never caught on. How it works: 110 volts comes into the main circuit panel and then goes to the "touch plate" central panel. Inside the panel appears to be 110 volt wiring coming into a transformer and some type of switch with 12 or 20 guage low voltage wire leaving the panel to the respective wall switches. There are several wall switches that do not work. When trying to activate them, you can hear a clicking noise inside the touch plate central panel and the light flicks for one second and goes off. I am guessing that the switch inside the touch plate control panel for that particular wall switch just isn't making or breaking to keep the light on. My questions: is my assessment correct? where can I get replacement parts? how do I do the repair myself? Thank you in advance - Gary

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