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Walsall iron light switch

Discussion in 'Electrics UK' started by unionworkeruk, 15 Aug 2019.

  1. unionworkeruk

    unionworkeruk

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    I have just bought an old Walsall one gang light switch. I want to replace one of the switches on a two way circuit with the Walsall. The wires for the Walsall are fitted thro the conduit behind the switch you can see in the photo, under the iron plate .

    Would it be possible to replace the one way fitting with a two way and fit it to such an old switch although I cannot see any on sale. I am not an electrician so happy to pay one if needed.
     

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  2. EFLImpudence

    EFLImpudence

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    Do you mean a two-way circuit - i.e. one light operated at two switches?

    If so, the Wallsall is only one way so won't be suitable.

    Also, it will require earthing - can't see a terminal for this.



    I don't understand this bit -
     
  3. unionworkeruk

    unionworkeruk

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    Yes a two way circuit I know it will require earthing but I thought maybe the one way could be replaced by a two way by an electrician as other similar switches are offered with the option of one or two way when they have modernised them.
     
  4. Harry Bloomfield

    Harry Bloomfield

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    Yes, Walsall and I think Crabtree did a two way version of that switch, they also did an intermediate switch. I think the castings in the photo were intended for flameproof use.
     
  5. unionworkeruk

    unionworkeruk

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    Is there no way of replacing the switch inside the casing with a two way. Looks as though it has been glued in so could probably be chipped out and replaced if it were possible to obtain a two way to replace it with. I have no idea It weighs about 3 kilos
     
  6. EFLImpudence

    EFLImpudence

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    Well - Harry says they did a two-way version, but I presume they are hard to obtain and no point buying one to alter yours.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=wal...ThUIHb1FCH4Q_AUIESgB&biw=1342&bih=585#imgrc=_

    As you are asking if it can be converted, it supposes you might not be able to do it - otherwise you would have done it.


    The switch obviously is held in with the two screws and the outside lever just moves the toggle.

    upload_2019-8-16_0-32-57.png

    I cannot tell the size of it but if you can find a similar two-way toggle switch then it could be modified.

    https://www.google.com/search?biw=1...&ved=0ahUKEwift4qIgobkAhWlyYUKHfL-An0Q4dUDCAY
     
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  7. unionworkeruk

    unionworkeruk

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    EFLimpudence. Thats the information I want. I can now write to a few dealers and see if any if them have a two way toggle that could be used to modify the switch I have. I presume there is a standard size so any two way toggle should be able to be used in the Walsall I have. Thanks
     
  8. Harry Bloomfield

    Harry Bloomfield

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    EFL's suggestion is a good one, but you would have to devise some sort of bracket to support a modern switch in the enclosure and hope the 'swing' of the outer lever will work with your replacement. Be aware those screws will all be BA sizes, difficult to replace if any get lost.

    Dare I ask, why are you going to all this trouble to reuse an old cast-iron switch? There are plenty of modern replacement switches available.

    These are of the same era - https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Four-Vin...230787&hash=item28831b5e19:g:10sAAOSw4RNdVcFN
     
  9. unionworkeruk

    unionworkeruk

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    Purely for the look of them Harry. Big chunky piece of industrial heritage. Makes you feel like you are turning on the factory lights when you click one of these in the morning.

    I also build book shelves out of galvinised steel and scaffold boards and am working on some stairs made out of steel stringers and off cut planks of wood which I have cleaned up and kept as natural as possible with the waney edge etc. The wooden balustrade will be replaced with stainless steel rods. Thats a sheet of perforated steel behind it I found it a skip and cut to fit.

    I have been told I might be able to get an original two way Walsall switch which would be better
     

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  10. JohnW2

    JohnW2

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    As a totally lateral thought (and accepting that it would involve appreciable work, and that the OP would presumably have to pay an electrical to do it), If the OP wanted to use the switch he has (without modification) for 2-way switching, that could be achieved 'electrically' by some re-wiring and inclusion of a relay with c/o contacts somewhere.

    Kind Regards, John
     
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  11. Harry Bloomfield

    Harry Bloomfield

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    I had to think about that, but yes that would work fine, but would involve the relay being powered up for half of the time.
     
  12. unionworkeruk

    unionworkeruk

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  13. Harry Bloomfield

    Harry Bloomfield

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    Yes, that would work, but there is the issue of earthing that metal - they just didn't bother earthing the metalwork in those days :rolleyes:. I suspect, you might even be able to use that switch as a proper replacement, in your cast-iron enclosure.
     
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  14. JohnW2

    JohnW2

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    It would - well, at least, for a proportion of the time (not necessarily half). With a very small relay (presumably adequate for a light switching), the power consumption could be pretty trivial.

    However, if one wanted to be really clever, it might be possible to avoid any 'wastage of energy' by using some sort of mechanically latching or stepping relay, but I'd need to think about that!

    Kind Regards, John
     
  15. Harry Bloomfield

    Harry Bloomfield

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    50v Uniselector, as used by the GPO / BT back in the day. Each pulse moves it onto the next contact set.
     
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