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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Springfield, NJ
    Posts
    4

    Default Please Identify This Box

    While inspecting an attic, I came upon this electrical box. I have no idea what it could be for. Among the occupants of the house were an elderly couple who appeared to have special medical needs, but I didn't see any special equipment that possible could be controlled by the electronics or switches in this box.
    FWIW, the house is fully electric: Electric baseboard heat, electric hot water heater, electric range, etc.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks,

    David

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
    Posts
    5,847

    Default Re: Please Identify This Box

    Quote Originally Posted by David Rose View Post
    While inspecting an attic, I came upon this electrical box. I have no idea what it could be for. Among the occupants of the house were an elderly couple who appeared to have special medical needs, but I didn't see any special equipment that possible could be controlled by the electronics or switches in this box.
    FWIW, the house is fully electric: Electric baseboard heat, electric hot water heater, electric range, etc.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks,

    David
    It has relays, so low voltage light controls come to mind....

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  3. #3
    MARVIN TOWNSEN's Avatar
    MARVIN TOWNSEN Guest

    Default Re: Please Identify This Box

    Definately for a low voltage controller of something, the transformer may be the power source for the controlls that run the relays. Could it be for an attic ventilation fan with a humidistat or something of the sort?


  4. #4
    James Duffin's Avatar
    James Duffin Guest

    Default Re: Please Identify This Box

    The have a white taped red so I am guessing the relays are controlling a 240 volt load...like the baseboard heaters. The relay coils are 24 volt so a LV thermostat can control them.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Springfield, NJ
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Please Identify This Box

    Quote Originally Posted by James Duffin View Post
    The have a white taped red so I am guessing the relays are controlling a 240 volt load...like the baseboard heaters. The relay coils are 24 volt so a LV thermostat can control them.
    Based on what I saw in the house, this makes the most sense. Each room had it's own wall mounted thermostat as opposed to having a control on each baseboard strip.
    I'm not real familiar with the workings/controls of baseboard heating and this was the first all-electric house I've inspected. The next time I come across one I'll be looking for a controller box.

    Thanks,

    David


  6. #6
    MARVIN TOWNSEN's Avatar
    MARVIN TOWNSEN Guest

    Default Re: Please Identify This Box

    Quote Originally Posted by David Rose View Post
    Based on what I saw in the house, this makes the most sense. Each room had it's own wall mounted thermostat as opposed to having a control on each baseboard strip.
    I'm not real familiar with the workings/controls of baseboard heating and this was the first all-electric house I've inspected. The next time I come across one I'll be looking for a controller box.

    Thanks,

    David
    I agree does look like 220 at the relays.
    On the west coast in my region, most homes are all electric, gas or other heating sources are the rarity. I have never seen a wall heater baseboard or other controlled by relays. The wall thermostats are wired in series with the heater.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Tyler, TX
    Posts
    719

    Default Re: Please Identify This Box

    Very similar to the one I posted about - though yours is a lot neater looking

    http://www.inspectionnews.net/home_i...what-heck.html

    Bruce Thompson, Lic. #9199
    www.TylerHomeInspector.com
    Home Inspections in the Tyler and East Texas area

  8. #8
    MARVIN TOWNSEN's Avatar
    MARVIN TOWNSEN Guest

    Default Re: Please Identify This Box

    Quote Originally Posted by JB Thompson View Post
    Very similar to the one I posted about - though yours is a lot neater looking

    http://www.inspectionnews.net/home_i...what-heck.html

    That to me definately looks like it could be an old alarms system, but by the age of the relay in the box I would say it is older than the 70's. The coils in the picture on the right I am 90% sure is for a ringer. I have seen a system like this in an old shop that was used for a phone ringer, but it was a smaller scale(not as much crap). Did you notice any contacts or old screw holes near the doors or windows?


  9. #9
    MARVIN TOWNSEN's Avatar
    MARVIN TOWNSEN Guest

    Default Re: Please Identify This Box

    About the first box, by any chance did you find an unused thermostat or a switch? I wonder if it controlls the water heater, either as a temp control or dis-connect?


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Vancouver Island
    Posts
    4,549

    Default Re: Please Identify This Box

    Low voltage thermostats are easier to install on a finished wall, because the wiring is smaller gauge and easier to hide. You can see that the low voltage red and black control the high voltage relays. Electric heat is my guess for that one.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  11. #11
    MARVIN TOWNSEN's Avatar
    MARVIN TOWNSEN Guest

    Default Re: Please Identify This Box

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    Low voltage thermostats are easier to install on a finished wall, because the wiring is smaller gauge and easier to hide. You can see that the low voltage red and black control the high voltage relays. Electric heat is my guess for that one.
    I have seen it that type of installation for electric forced air furnaces all the time, but for a wall heater? It seems like extra wiring to me, and if you have more than one wall heater, more relay boxes. One for each thermostat. I still say i have never seen a wall heater with a relay box in my area.

    Has anyone ever seen a wall or baseboard heater wired with this type of relay?


  12. #12
    James Duffin's Avatar
    James Duffin Guest

    Default Re: Please Identify This Box

    Quote Originally Posted by MARVIN TOWNSEN View Post
    I have seen it that type of installation for electric forced air furnaces all the time, but for a wall heater? It seems like extra wiring to me, and if you have more than one wall heater, more relay boxes. One for each thermostat. I still say i have never seen a wall heater with a relay box in my area.

    Has anyone ever seen a wall or baseboard heater wired with this type of relay?
    I have wired baseboard heaters this way with relays. One advantage is that you can put more than one heater on a thermostat. My application had six heaters on one thermostat.


  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Chicago IL
    Posts
    1,984

    Default Re: Please Identify This Box

    Definitely high voltage electric heating elements. Either in line duct elements or baseboard. The box is a pretty standard variation on control boxes I used to see when working on VAV systems.

    www.aic-chicago.com
    773/844-4AIC
    "The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

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