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They trigger a mercury switch that brings the counterbalance to its full height and then slowly falls to allow the mechanical clock to carry on working.
On the backside of the thermostat, directly behind the mercury switch and coil on the front, you'll find a small metal nib (some models have a slot for a screwdriver).
The National Vehicle Mercury Switch Recovery Program is designed to remove mercury-containing light switches from scrap vehicles before the vehicles are flattened, shredded and melted to make new steel.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the establishment of the National Vehicle Mercury Switch Recovery Program a voluntary program designed to remove mercury-containing switches from the U.
Another option is the capacitance type, which is similar in performance to the photo eye yet closer in price to the mercury switch.