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Key switch next to front door

  • Last Updated:
  • Dec 16th, 2020 6:07 pm
Newbie
Dec 16, 2017
25 posts
6 upvotes

Key switch next to front door

Anyone have any clue what this is for? My family and I just bought a house that has this by the front door and the previous owner doesn’t know what it is for (they just flipped it).
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17 replies
Deal Addict
Sep 15, 2017
1532 posts
2313 upvotes
Pull the cover off and see what its wired to? Reminds me of an elevator lockoff key which obviously it isn't.
Newbie
Dec 16, 2017
25 posts
6 upvotes
I thought of the same thing like a lift for elder or something but I’m there isn’t a multi steps by the front door.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Mar 30, 2004
2648 posts
1788 upvotes
Edmonton
Old school alarm?
The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten....
Deal Addict
Feb 25, 2007
3274 posts
982 upvotes
Dunno for your house but In our high school the janitors used to open the garage door with what OP has, turn the key and garage door opener opens the garage door from
Outside
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Jun 21, 2003
6291 posts
3811 upvotes
Stoney Creek, ON
That’s a standard (albeit very odd in a home) key switch. It could really be controlling anything a standard switch would control (lights, switch, equipment, etc). You’re likely only going to figure it out by opening it up and determining where the wire goes. If you find the breaker and turn it off, change the switch to a standard switch and turn the breaker back on. Now you can turn it on and off and see what it is doing.
Newbie
Dec 16, 2017
25 posts
6 upvotes
Thanks all for all your input! I guess I have to test it!
Deal Fanatic
Nov 17, 2012
5315 posts
4907 upvotes
Toronto
Can't be anything related to security as anyone with a fingernail could open it up and bypass the switch.

I'd pull the plate off, get a multimeter and test for voltage. Then find the breaker that services it.

It may be low-voltage like a doorbell, wired to a transformer somewhere in the basement. The wiring from that transformer would then tell you what it turns on and off.
Deal Guru
Jan 25, 2007
12677 posts
7846 upvotes
Paris
rogerrabbit168 wrote: Dunno for your house but In our high school the janitors used to open the garage door with what OP has, turn the key and garage door opener opens the garage door from
Outside
My Aunt, to this day, has a standard doorbell button mounted outside her garage to open the garage door. Lives in the county but urban is very close.
Deal Addict
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Jan 2, 2012
4668 posts
3950 upvotes
KINGSTON,ON
Probably a garage door opener.
Member
Sep 8, 2002
300 posts
126 upvotes
Toronto
MrFrugal1 wrote: Probably a garage door opener.
Agree. We have one like this but never got the key when we got the house. But tracing the wires inside the garage, you should see something lead to your garage door opener from this lock.
Deal Fanatic
Nov 2, 2005
5313 posts
2627 upvotes
WFH
oilerfan89 wrote: Pull the cover off and see what its wired to? Reminds me of an elevator lockoff key which obviously it isn't.
if someone's gone to the effort of installing a key switch it would be kind of disappointing if it can be simply "pulled off" without at least the use of some obscure security screwdriver.
Deal Fanatic
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Jun 21, 2003
6291 posts
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Stoney Creek, ON
dirtmover wrote: if someone's gone to the effort of installing a key switch it would be kind of disappointing if it can be simply "pulled off" without at least the use of some obscure security screwdriver.
The photo shows it is clearly 2 slotted screws just like any old faceplate.
Deal Addict
Sep 15, 2017
1532 posts
2313 upvotes
dirtmover wrote: if someone's gone to the effort of installing a key switch it would be kind of disappointing if it can be simply "pulled off" without at least the use of some obscure security screwdriver.
And yet you must be disappointed after looking at the photo.
Deal Fanatic
Nov 2, 2005
5313 posts
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WFH
ChicoQuente wrote: The photo shows it is clearly 2 slotted screws just like any old faceplate.
Oh, I didn't open the photo. If it's that easy it must be booby trapped ;)
Deal Expert
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Sep 1, 2005
21521 posts
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Markham
This is like Willy Wonka...don't eat that blueberry candy kid.

Let's stick a finger in there and see what happens. LOL

Looking forward to the mystery key switch answer.
We're all bozos on the bus until we find a way to express ourselves...

Failure is always an option...just not the preferred one!
Jr. Member
Jun 6, 2018
105 posts
50 upvotes
30 years ago , that very thing was the way to arm/disarm a security system. You know...before fobs and card readers!

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