A switch is defined as a device that is used to turn either OFF or ON a piece of specific equipment. When it comes to electrical switches, they don’t need any manual or physical contact. Electrical switches have the ability to perform its operations under the action of semiconductors.
Even though all the electrical switches may look the same from the outside when they’re installed, their functioning can be different. Electrical switches can come in various styles, including push-button, slider, rocker, etcetera. The form will not affect the switch wiring or the function.
Types Of Electrical Switches Based On Specifications
Single-Pole Or One-Way Switch
These types of switches are the general-purpose ones and are also known as toggle switches as well. They are used to control just one circuit since they have only single output and input. With the help of a single-pole switch, you can quickly turn a light ON or OFF from one location.
They are easy to operate and have ON/OFF markings on them for better understandability. The switches have two brass coloured terminals, which are connected to the wires of the power source, mainly the black wires. One terminal is used for the incoming hot wire, while the other for the outgoing hot wire. It also includes a ground terminal or connecting to the circuit’s ground wire.
Double-Pole Or Two-Way Switch
Two-way switches are used to control separate circuits. These types of switches are like separate single-pole switches but are operated by the same button, knob or lever. They are mainly used in industrial environments and sometimes can also be found in home-wiring systems. You can control a device or equipment from more than a single location with the help of this switch.
The switches are mostly rated for 30 amps, compared to just 15 – 20 amps on the regular ones. This switch operates Power-hungry machines, appliances and motors.
When it comes to three-way switches, it comes with two brass screws – a green coloured and a darker coloured screw. With the help of these switches, you can control a device from two different locations, and they don’t have the toggle handle switch as well. This is because one position of the switch doesn’t mean that it’s ON/OFF – it will depend on another switch.
Three-way switches have no such ON/OFF markings on them. They are mainly used in both ends of a staircase, hallways, basements or garages, which all have two different entries, where two switches are required to control the light.
To provide control for any lighting fixture or outlet from three or more locations, four-way switches are used in between three-way switches to provide supervision. These switches are similar to two-way switches with no ON/OFF markings. There is no common terminal, and four-way switches are required for switching the equipment or device for the hot wires between the three-way switches.
These switches are used in very long hallways or large rooms having more than two entrances.
These switches are defined as the interconnection between two or more different electrical switches and are generally used to control the electrical load from more than one location. An excellent example of this type of switch will be the RCD MCB Safety Switch. MCB stands for Miniature Circuit Breaker and is used as an option to the fuse switch for controlling the electrical circuit from overload or overcurrent.
Multi-location switches can also be used to control a device or a piece of equipment from multiple locations.
If you’re planning to control the light in various subtle shades of brightness and contrast, then the dimmer switch will be the perfect companion for you. These types of switches are mainly used in bedrooms or living rooms.
Significance Of Electrical Switches
- All electrical equipment is useless without the use of an electrical switch. An electrical switch helps in turning any electrical device ON or OFF.
- With the help of electrical switches, you can easily break the flow or even continue the flow of electricity through a particular circuit.
- All types of logical functions are performed with the use of electrical switches.