Thursday, August 30, 2018

How to Replace a Low Voltage GE Switch & Relay [Install Tips]

Update your old GE switches with modern low voltage parts.

If you have a GE low voltage light system and one of the lights in your home isn't working, you'll either need to replace the switch or the relay that's connected to the switch.

First, use this guide to determine which part needs to be replaced:

(See our GE troubleshooting tips for additional help with your system if multiple lights throughout your home (or ALL the lights) aren't working.)

*Old vs New Switches & Compatible Brackets:

See the difference between an old switch & new switch:

Here are some examples of old switches in old brackets.
New switches (with the black housing) should NOT be forced into these old rectangle brackets because the new switches are larger than the old ones.

If forced into an old bracket, the new switch can get pinched, malfunction and eventually burn out the connected relay.

New switches are only compatible with diamond brackets.
However, brackets aren't necessary when you purchase New Style Covers.

Replacing a Switch:

GE low voltage light switches have been updated since the 1950's.

The new switches have 2 square buttons - you press one side to turn the lights on and the other side to turn them off (instead of rocking the switch one way or the other to control the lights).

If you need to replace an original switch, you'll need to replace the cover plate (and any other switches in that plate) as well.

With Snap-In replacement covers for GE switches, you can install new switches without buying the new diamond-shaped brackets to mount them in the junction box.

The new switches snap into these cover plates, eliminating the need for a bracket.

Note: Snap-In New Style Covers are only available at:

Replacing a Relay:

Each switch is connected to it's own relay (unless two switches have been wired together to a single relay for 3-way functionality).

New GE relays can be purchased here. The two most common replacements are the RR7 and the RR9. Take a look at your old relay and pay attention to the number of wires coming out of the top.

If your old relay has 3 wires or is labeled as RR2, RR3 or RR5, you will replace it with the new RR7 relay.

If your old relay has 4 wires on top (one of which is for a pilot light - typically yellow) and is labeled with part numbers RR4, RR6 or RR8, your replacement will be the RR9 pilot light relay.

GE System Wiring Info:

Here is an overview of the wiring in an older home with a GE low voltage lighting system using an RR7 relay:

Back of GE low voltage switch:
The back of a new GE switch has prongs labeled 
"RED ON", "BLK OFF", and "COMMON."

TO REPLACE A SWITCH, use the quick connectors that come with the switches to connect:
the red wire (from the relay) to "RED ON" prong
the black wire (from the relay) to the "BLK OFF" prong
the white wire (coming from the transformer) to the "COMMON" prong

(For Pilot Light switches, there is an additional prong between the prongs for the black and red wires. Connect the yellow pilot light wire there.)

TO REPLACE AN OLD RELAY, connect the wires in the relay panel to the replacement relay as follows:
  • old red wire to new red wire
  • old black wire to new black wire
  • old white (or other color) wire to new blue wire

Where are these wires coming from?
As shown in the GE system diagram above:
The red wire runs from the relay to the "ON" terminal on the switch.
The black runs to the "OFF" terminal on the switch.
The blue connects to the system's rectifier.

The side of an RR7 relay has 2 brass screws, which are used to connect wires running to the circuit breaker and the lamps.

Look on the bottom of the relay, and under the screws you'll see 4 holes.

For a standard application, connect the circuit breaker wire into hole 1 or 2 on the bottom of the relay. Then connect the wire going to the lamp into hole 3 or 4.
If the same breaker is used to power multiple rooms (for example, your dining room & kitchen), you'll wire multiple relays together.

For the 2-relay setup shown above, the circuit breaker wire goes in the first hole of relay number 1.

Another wire connects the relays (from the second hole of relay one to the first hole of relay two (see diagram).

The lamps are wired to hole #3 of each respective relay.

These instructions do not cover all details or variations in equipment nor do they provide for every possible contingency that may be met in connection with the installation, maintenance or operation.

Information provided is subject to change without notice.

Kyle Switch Plates is not responsible for any errors or omissions.

Shop Replacement Parts for GE Low Voltage Lit Homes

Get a GE Wiring Diagram for all types of GE low voltage switches - free with any purchase on

Other Examples of Old GE LoVo Switches:

Your vintage switch may look like any of these examples:

To replace switches from the top row (labeled "Standard Switches"), get new ge switches here. These switches go with the RR7 relay.

To replace switches in the bottom row, get new ge pilot light switches. These switches connect to RR9 Pilot Light relays.

Note, the locking RKS-6 and RKS-8 have key slots and require a key to turn the lights on and off. If you want to continue to use a key to adjust the lights, you can find replacements here:
Buy key switches for GE low voltage.
Buy pilot light key switches for GE low voltage.

Don't see your switch shown?

See all vintage GE switches & replacements for additional types of vintage switches.

OR, you may have another brand of low voltage system!

Check your relays to look for other brands such as Pyramid, Sierra, Touch Plate or Remcon. Use our Low Voltage System Identification Guide to help find your brand and replacement parts.

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