Old style electrical outlets / switches

In yesterday’s inspection, house built in 1975, the electrical outlets and switches were different. Anyone have information on this style? How it holds up, replacement parts?

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The first pic is low-voltage relay switching.
The second is a variation on the old Despard system of devices.

I have to say, both of these systems pre-date 1975. Are you certain of the home’s age?
I would have guessed 1960’s.


the surrounding homes range from 1964 - 1972, then jump to later years. It was truly a custom build at the time. The windows were mostly wood horiz. sliders. When unlatched, the right window slides back then sideways in a lower grooved base. I’ve not seen that type before.

Broken plate covering three 2 slot receptacles, and FYI that cord cap is must be of the dead front type “without the fiber cover over the screws”, just an observance, not in your report.

Photos of a Low Voltage System with the relay panels.

I would also say that the home is much older than 1975. I would agree with the early 1960’s.

When the switches were operated, a sound could be heard at a different location.

If these are low voltage, should there be a transformer located somewhere?

There would be transformer(s) and relays. I have only seen these a few times, but the relays are ussually in the attic. The low voltage activates the relay, which switches the 120VAC.

I would concur on the early 60’s date. I have never seen original 2-prong receptacles in houses built after about the mid 60’s.

I put in a few of these in the early sixties upscale homes .


How Do Douglas Low Voltage
Lighting Controls Work?


All lighting controls utilize some sort of electrically controlled device that turns the load ON, OFF or in some cases dims the load. The device is in turn controlled by a wall switch, sensor, time clock and/or automation device. This strategy permits a variety of options that can make load control easier (or even possible in some cases) and can save considerable energy with the application of automation.
). Wiring is simplified, as relays, switches and control devices can share the same common wire for power.

  1. The same relay can be easily controlled by
  2. multipl


Douglas Relays ON/OFF Status

Latching relays have a built-in indicator, a status feedback circuit and/or an auxiliary contact to report the ON/OFF status. You can tell if a Douglas relay is ON or OFF by:

  1. The position of the built-in mechanical indicator. the mechanical indicator can also be used to manually switch the relay;
  2. The switch LEDs, lit by the status feedback circuit;
  3. Monitoring the status feedback circuit;
    *]An auxiliary contact (optional for Douglas relays).