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Electrical Wiring in the Home/Strange switch that does nothing...I think!


Switch-Left Side
Switch-Left Side  

Switch-Right Side
Switch-Right Side  
Hello. First to explain things a little back story.  My wife and I purchased our home about a year ago.  Since then I have been trying to figure out what everything does in the house.  The house was built in 1914.  We hired an inspector when we bought the house, but at this point in time we are not very happy with the work he did and we are finding many more things wrong with the house than what he found. It seems the wiring was updated at some point, but I think it must have been done by the homeowner and a friend and not a professional.

There are a few old switches in the house that do nothing.  One in particular is this old A-H&H lighted switch.  It is located between the two switches that control our living room and kitchen lights. It seems the switch doesn't control anything as far as I can tell. I decided to take of the cover and see if it was even wired and found it it was.  From there it gets even weirder...I checked the black wire on the left side with the red wire on the right side and the tester indicated 120v.  I then checked the top red wire on the left side and got nothing.  However after pushing the switch I checked the top red wire on the left side with the red wire on the right and the tester indicated 120v, the bottom black wire showed nothing.  

I've played around with the switch to see if it affects any lights but I can't seem to find anything.  Any idea what this switch does and what it could have possibly been used for?


The switch seems to be a 3 way switch. So there may be another switch somewhere that goes along with it.  Does the light on the switch work?  If the light on the switch works, it should be connected to something. If it works only when the switch is in one position, then it would work when whatever it goes to is off, and the light on the switch would be off when whatever it goes to would be on.

Perhaps it goes to an outlet in one of the rooms?  An outside light? A light in a garage (even if the garage is no longer there)? A ceiling fan that is no longer there? When a house is old and has been remodeled, it is possible that whatever it went to is no longer is use.
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Electrical Wiring in the Home

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Bob Sponaugle


Just about any home wiring question. (not appliance repair) I have done all kinds of home wiring for myself, including adding a new breaker box, etc. Please, questions from North America only. Please be specific with details.

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