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Old 11.06.2017, 22:51
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Source for an obscure electrical switch part at a reasonable price.

After only 3.5 years, one of our light switches has given up the ghost just now. With the light in the "on" position. As it shares a circuit with the fridge it is somewhat annoying. But I digress.

As it's Sunday, I haven't been able to go to a shop to have a look. So I don't know if I can buy a compatible part, or if I have to buy the whole assembly, etc. I don't know what I'll find when I get to the Migros DIY near my workplace and I hope I don't need to call in an electrician to replace this part.

So should I prepare myself for the worst, or are these parts all standard, and is it easy to find the replacement part?

The failed part is one of these. That is, the blue and white assembly in the middle.



The central white plastic assembly should be connected to a spring via a couple of metal hooks. One of these hooks has come off.
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Old 11.06.2017, 23:04
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Re: Source for an obscure electrical switch part at a reasonable price.

Most of the hobby places carry Feller, the pic you posted is a Hager.

Is yours marked "Hager" or is that just a photo you found?

If you want the button part and surround to fit, then you'll need to get the same switch from the same manufacturer.

Changing a switch isn't that big a deal, just be sure to pull the fues/flip the breaker, and check that the circuit really is dead before you start pulling wires. If you have exactly the same switch then you just moves the wires over one by one to the same hole on the new switch.

EDIT: And if this is a rental, then just call the Hauswart.
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Last edited by JagWaugh; 11.06.2017 at 23:16.
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Old 12.06.2017, 11:27
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Re: Source for an obscure electrical switch part at a reasonable price.

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Most of the hobby places carry Feller, the pic you posted is a Hager.

Is yours marked "Hager" or is that just a photo you found?
It's a genuine Hager.

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EDIT: And if this is a rental, then just call the Hauswart.
I'm the owner, therefore the Hauswart.

Do you happen to know if the metal, square outer bracket is a standard size?

Trying to save time, aggravation and money by not buying parts I think will fit, only to find they do not.
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Old 12.06.2017, 11:35
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Re: Source for an obscure electrical switch part at a reasonable price.

You probably won't have much luck at Migros DIY. Hornbach has a pretty good supply of electrical components including Hager. I've bought a "similar" switch to what you are looking for there before (sounds like a similar defect as yours). If they don't carry that part, they should be able to order one (should be less than 20 CHFs). If they won't, any decent electrician firm will be able to order one for you (Frey&Cie has sold me random parts for DIY projects before but I also use them with other jobs).

That outer metal bracket is standard. Hornbach sells them for a few CHFs.
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Old 12.06.2017, 11:38
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Re: Source for an obscure electrical switch part at a reasonable price.

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It's a genuine Hager.


I'm the owner, therefore the Hauswart.

Do you happen to know if the metal, square outer bracket is a standard size?

Trying to save time, aggravation and money by not buying parts I think will fit, only to find they do not.
The brackets are usually standardized w.r.t. the mounting of the guts, certainly within a specific Mfr, but you can't just buy the bit without the bracket, not even at EM. The 4 holes at the outer corner are standardized across all Mfrs.

If your place of employment has a lot of IT stuff you may have a house electrician - have a word with him. If you give him the original Hager p/n molded onto the switch, or show him a pic (also one of the button/coverplate) and explain how it switches (i.e. is it a single position switch, or is there a 2nd switch elsewhere to flip flop the state of the lamp) then he can order you the exact Hager replacement and you'll have it the same or the next day.

When they fail after such a short time it's usually because some plaster or unterputz has found it's way into the switch mechanism. In general, if a switch lasts 3 years then it will keep going for the next 30.
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Old 12.06.2017, 12:20
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Re: Source for an obscure electrical switch part at a reasonable price.

Have you already tried asking at Pusterla?
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Old 12.06.2017, 12:37
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Re: Source for an obscure electrical switch part at a reasonable price.

Not sure what kind of switch this is, but can't you just replace the entire switch with a more easily source-able switch?
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Old 12.06.2017, 12:49
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Re: Source for an obscure electrical switch part at a reasonable price.

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Not sure what kind of switch this is, but can't you just replace the entire switch with a more easily source-able switch?
Definitely, but then the surround and button won't match... if it's a multi gang station then replacing all the other switches and outlets gets real expensive, real fast.

Good call on Pusterla, Kittster. Even if they don't stock Hager they may be willing to order the right one - you'll have to pay in advance, and leave an email/phone number.

The thing about Pusterla is that they're not so happy when you walk in and ask them to figure everything out for you, but if the OP comes in and says "I need a Hager p/n XXXX" he'll have better luck.

Just watch out if the guy before you said "My brother in law says I need a new charger for my cordless phone, what is your cheapest one?" and the guy at the says "What model of phone?" and the answer is "I don't know, it's white", if this happens, start by saying "Sorry, my German isn't very good, but at least my brother in law hasn't sent me."
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Old 12.06.2017, 12:56
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Re: Source for an obscure electrical switch part at a reasonable price.

hornbach / bauhaus have nice long isles full of complete switches and all the component parts thereof, by the looks of your picture its just the bog standard swiss surround etc. just take it with you and you can compare it.
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Old 12.06.2017, 12:57
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Re: Source for an obscure electrical switch part at a reasonable price.

If it's an older model of switch that is no longer being manufactured, one place to try is Ricardo. I have in the past replaced a cracked socket front plate with a reclaimed item from Ricardo. Like you, I wanted all sockets and switches in the room to match so a new one wasn't an option. Swapping it out was a piece of cake and it's still in use today, about 5 years on, and doing just fine.
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Old 12.06.2017, 12:59
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Re: Source for an obscure electrical switch part at a reasonable price.

Hager are modular switches so you can only buy the broken part (others might not fit) and they are not expensive, the plastic module is around 7 CHF with the press assembly that goes inside.

If all other switches are Hager best to get the same brand, just go to a Hager reseller and get the kallysto Basic line, the complete assembly is something like 50 CHF
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Old 14.06.2017, 08:39
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Re: Source for an obscure electrical switch part at a reasonable price.

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The brackets are usually standardized w.r.t. the mounting of the guts, certainly within a specific Mfr, but you can't just buy the bit without the bracket, not even at EM. The 4 holes at the outer corner are standardized across all Mfrs.
The part above helped me a lot. Because of the time factor (kitchen in darkness - thank goodness it's summer!) I went to the Migros near work and splashed out CHF 27.90 on a switch. Took it home, installed it and all is well!

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When they fail after such a short time it's usually because some plaster or unterputz has found it's way into the switch mechanism. In general, if a switch lasts 3 years then it will keep going for the next 30.
I can't even remember the last time I encountered a failed switch, except in Thailand (and that one hasn't completely failed yet).

What is stranger still is, I took one of the working Hager switch assemblies out of one of the 3 hall light switches and inserted it into the kitchen light switch. To my surprise, this one didn't work properly either in its new location!

Meanwhile I got a very reasonable quote for an electrician to do the job, which came in at

Quote:
First hour: 130 chf

The switch it will cost you 31 chf and for install it would take around 10 min.
So I saved myself a little over CHF 130 by buying the CHF 27.90 replacement switch (billing my time at CHF 0 per hour ).

All I have to do now is reinstall the "working" hall light switch.
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Old 14.06.2017, 09:19
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Re: Source for an obscure electrical switch part at a reasonable price.

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snip...
I can't even remember the last time I encountered a failed switch, except in Thailand (and that one hasn't completely failed yet).

What is stranger still is, I took one of the working Hager switch assemblies out of one of the 3 hall light switches and inserted it into the kitchen light switch. To my surprise, this one didn't work properly either in its new location!
snip...
All I have to do now is reinstall the "working" hall light switch.
Over the last 20 years or so the switches here have become flimsier and flimsier, regardless of the manufacturer. It isn't uncommon to fit a new switch and have it work fine while it isn't screwed into the UP box, but when you fit it in the box and tighten the 4 screws at the corners the plate distorts or the wires bunch up in behind and this loads up the switch mechanically such that the toggle action fails to work. It's frustrating, but you often need to massage the plate, and "bias bend" the wires so that there is no mechanical force twisting the switch mechanism.

The other thing that is quite common is that the "claw catch" contact where you insert the wires often doesn't work for more than a single use.

Both of these problems are a result of the switch "only" costing 27.90. To make a proper switch would cost at least 28.00, and that is just too much for the market to accept.

So when the 'leccky wants to replace a switch that may just need a fiddle he's really trying to save you money... 27.90 for a new one, vs 15 min at his hourly rate... jiggery pokery costs nothing when you're not billing by the hour.
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Old 13.12.2018, 09:04
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Re: Source for an obscure electrical switch part at a reasonable price.

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Have you already tried asking at Pusterla?
Another switch failed. I went there yesterday and found the identical part and installed it when I got home. CHF 20.80 for the part and a push button assembly I didn't need.

Good call!
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