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I would like to install push button light switches in my house. I know you can buy these switches "new" right now, but they feel like plastic. I prefer the look and feel of the old switches, and there are lots of them on eBay, but are they safe???
I would imagine that so long as the cases are not cracked, they should be safe. Any that exhibit poor contact, get warm, emit any buzzing noises, or just don't feel right should be replaced.
Have you checked out Rejuvenation? They offer new, push-button style switches that, from the website, appear to be pretty good.
EDIT: After further looking, it appears that the ones Rejuvenation sells are made by Classic Accents. Some quick Google searches didn't turn up any other manufacturers, your luck may vary.
To answer your question, yes and no. The old push button switches were made with ceramic cases, heavier contacts, and better springs than most of the new ones, however some had open cases and if used in a dusty environment needed to be cleaned out or taped over to prevent dust fires.
old push button swithes should be safe to use as long as your installin them so that its in a box in the wall not just a hole. i personally would not buy any old used swithes for my house though!!