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replacing variable resistor

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by Skeleton Man, Jan 6, 2005.

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  1. Skeleton Man

    Skeleton Man Guest

    Hi all,

    I have a heater that has 2 heat settings, controlled by a dial (variable
    resistor).. you turn the dial one way about 2 full turns it goes onto the hot
    setting, you turn it about 2 turns the other way it goes onto the wam setting..

    My problem is that the dial is broken.. the shaft has broken at the base and
    just sits there, making it very difficult to change heat settings..

    I don't know how to go about getting a replacement.. because it's more like a
    switch than a variable resistor.. in the warm position it reads 100 ohms, in
    the hot position it reads as a dead short (0 ohms).. there's no inbetween
    setting... is this still a variable resistor/pot or does it has a different
    name ?

    The markings on it are as follows:

    btw, are all variable resistors pots ? or is there a difference between the two

  2. A pot (potentiometer) is a 3 terminal resistor. It has a connection
    to each end of a resistive element and a third connection to a sliding
    contact that can connect anywhere from end to end on the element. If
    the element is connected across a voltage (potential difference) the
    slider can produce any potential between those connected to the ends.

    A variable resistor (rheostat) has two connections - one end of a
    resistive element and the sliding contact that puts more or less
    resistance between itself and the end contact.

    Your device sounds like a selector switch that shorts a 100 ohm
    resistor with a contact in one position and opens that short in the
    other position. Any light switch and a 100 ohm resistor could do the
    same thing.
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