My home, built in the 50s, has a Sierra low-voltage lighting system, where low-voltage 24DC switches control relays that power the normal 120AC lights. In the last week, the switches have failed intermittently, and I'm not sure how to diagnose the problem. Different switches fail at different times, so it seems like it must be a problem with the transformer, since it seems unlikely that multiple switches and/or relays would all suddenly go bad at the same time.
This is a rough schematic of how the system is wired:
Assuming that the problem is with the transformer, I took a picture of the transformer box: (If anything is unclear from the picture, I will gladly take another for you. Just tell me what you need to look at.)
If I understand correctly, the parts in the box are...
- A. Transformer
- B. Fuse
- C. Capacitor?? (If so, that's not in the schematic.)
- D. Rectifier
- E. ??? in-line something or other? Maybe just a fancy connector?
I really just have two questions:
First, how should I go about diagnosing my problem? (I have an automotive multimeter that can test voltage, resistance, connectivity, etc.)
Second, is there a simple way to bypass the system to get a relay to turn on and off in the meantime. (I have a few lights in the house that are stuck on at the moment, and I guess I'll just leave them on all night.)
Edit 1: Failures seem to go away after waiting for a while. After writing this question, I went out and both of the switches that were failing before turned off with no problem.