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Switches and amperes?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by fbchurch2009, May 6, 2010.

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  1. fbchurch2009

    fbchurch2009

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    Jan 10, 2010
    I am very ignorant when it comes to electronics, but I want to buy a small on/off push button switch. All I want it to do is to complete the circuit when I push the button, and to break the circuit when I push it again (these are the basic principles of an on/off switch right?) but when I was looking at some switches, it said it was a 1 amp switch. what does that mean? How many amps do I want? thanks.
    - Justin
     
  2. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

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    Jan 21, 2010
    It depends totally on what you want to switch on and off. You also need to ensure that the voltage rating is adequate for the task.

    What are you planning to switch on and off?
     
  3. Externet

    Externet

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    Aug 24, 2009
  4. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

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    That may not help him at all. He indicated he has a switch, rated at 1A, but we have no idea what he wants to turn on and off. If that device requires more than 1A (even if it requires close to 1A) he should probably look at a heavier rating.

    In addition, switches often have different ratings for AC or DC, and his switch may be inappropriate for the voltage he is trying to switch.

    Offering him a particular style of switch probably isn't going to help. I certainly wouldn't use that style of switch for turning a mains operated lamp on and off for example. It also is inappropriate for use behind a wall plate. It is appropriate for a whole stack of other things, so we just don't know.

    If the OP came back to tell us what he was switching, then the answer would be almost trivial.
     
  5. Externet

    Externet

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    Aug 24, 2009
    Sorry, Steve. I thought I had read ..." I want to buy a small on/off push button switch "... from Justin :(
     
  6. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

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    Jan 21, 2010
    Reading it again, I think you're right. He may not have it yet.

    He needs to get a switch suited to a voltage at least as high as the voltage he's switching (higher is OK), and with a current rating higher than whatever the device he's switching draws.

    If he knows the wattage, but not the current, he can determine the current by dividing the wattage by the voltage. e.g. a 55 watt lightbulb running from 110 volts draws 55/110 amps = 0.5 amp. A 220V 1 Amp switch would be fine for this. (a 110V 0.5A switch is the minimum suitable rating)

    This calculation applies to many things, but not everything.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2010
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