SWITCHES

ALL wall switches controlling lights should have a quick-break action, which completes the switching on or off automatically when the knob has been moved part way up or down. This prevents arcing, and burning at the contact points.

If a switch spring breaks, replace the switch. Even good switches – and it is false economy to buy a low-priced, second-grade article – are cheap enough. Before taking off the old one be sure to open the main switch, and so render all circuits dead. Remove the cap of the switch, and loosen the two small screws which clamp the ends of the conductors into tubular terminals. Next, withdraw the two woodscrews holding the switch to the wall-block. The switch will then come away if the clamp screws have boon un-screwed sufficiently.

If possible, the switch should be replaced by one of the same make – if a good type – as its screw holes will match those in the block. If, however, one with screw holes in slightly different, positions has to be accepted, fill the old screw holes with small wooden plugs and make new holes.

The ends of the conductors will have been flattened out by the clamp screws, and should be squeezed into a more circular shape with pliers, and the wires be closed up. Any burr on the inside of the terminals, left when the holes for the clamp screws were drilled, should be removed with a small broach or rat-tail file. The conductors will then enter much more easily; when they have been clamped, the switch can be screwed to its block. Switches in Bathrooms

These should have porcelain caps and porcelain-covered knobs. Should there be any leakage at the switch, and this have metal cap and knob, a person whose hands and feet are damp after a bath might get a severe shock, especially if the feet are bare.

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