Mystery Switch In Your New House? How To See What It Controls


Buying a new house always comes with a bit of a learning curve. From the home's hidden secrets to the electrical switch locations, there's a lot to learn. One of the most seemingly puzzling problems is trying to figure out what each switch controls in the house. If you've found that one mystery switch that you can't narrow down, there are a few things that you can do to help you figure it out. Here are a couple of steps that might help you clarify things.

Consider Where The Switch Is Located

Where the switch has been installed is the first indication of what it may control. For example, if the switch is installed near your attic or basement door, it may control a light or other fixture in that space. Try changing light bulbs in the fixture in that space in case the bulb is burned out, as that may help you discover its purpose.

For a switch installed on the wall near your furnace or home's HVAC system, it may control the security disconnect for the blower motor and the air handler. While the security disconnect is usually a switch in the unit itself, it's sometimes installed externally for easier access. Turn your HVAC system on, then flip the switch to see if it shuts the unit down.

Finally, switches near exterior doors often control lights outside those doors. If nothing appears to immediately turn on, the light bulbs may be blown, or they may be controlled by motion or light sensors.

Consider The Outlets In The Room

Many times, a switch installed in a room is connected to an outlet that's in the room. It's usually an outlet that's nearby the switch. Plug something into the nearest outlet and flip the switch. Continue testing outlets until you've checked them all because it could be any one of them.

In other cases, the switch may have previously controlled a ceiling fan or fixture that's remote-controlled once it has power. Look for a remote somewhere in the house, or order a replacement to see if that restores its functionality.

If none of these things help you narrow down what the switch controls, you may need to work with an electrician who can trace back the lines to find out what each of those questionable switches might control. He or she can also find any non-functional fixtures and any other wiring issues that may exist. 


2 April 2019

furnace repairs - do it yourself?

Can furnace repairs be made by the average DIYer? If you know a little about what you are doing, is it possible to avoid the expense of having a professional come out to take care of any problems that you are having? My blog is all about furnace safety and repair. You will learn a few things that you can do on your own and advice for when to call in the professional repair technician to assist with the repairs. By the time you reach the end, you will have a better understanding of what you can and should not do on your own.