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Safety Requirements for Switches

Discussion in 'Electrical Engineering' started by CWM, Jun 8, 2004.

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  1. CWM

    CWM Guest

    I'm trying to determine industry accepted practice for the use of
    switches in electronic equipment. I may wish to have my equipment UL
    certified eventually.

    My question has to do with the voltage applied to the switch.

    Switches are rated for the voltage that can be present across their
    leads. If I have a 12V switch attached so that one lead is at 110V
    and the other lead is at 120V, then the voltage across the switch is
    within the switches specs -- however, the potential of the switch
    above ground is quite high.

    What I am trying to determine is what the acceptable voltage between
    the switch leads and ground (the user) is.

    There are many switches that have a dielectric rating of 250V. Does
    this mean that I can use that switch in this manner?

    Obviously the best solution would be to alter the design so that the
    mean voltage is near ground. But in this case, I'd rather not do that
    if I don't have to, since every penny counts, and I don't wish to add
    any components. (I already flipped the polarity of the entire circuit
    once to address a much more severe safety issue.)

    Worst case, I can just leave the switch out, but I'd rather not do

    I'm really looking for a response from someone who KNOWS the answer to
    this question, not just a bunch of guesses... so if you want to reply
    and give your oppinion, by all means do, but please say in your reply
    that you don't know for sure.

  2. CWM

    CWM Guest

    This post has been crossposted to sci.engr.electrical.compliance.
    It's more appropriate there. Please reply there.
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