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What Is a Fused Disconnect Switch?

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Disconnect Switches

When making considerations for your commercial business’ electrical and overall preparation, safety is always a critical factor. You need a system that guarantees the safety of your employees, associates, and clients — as well as safety for your assets and equipment.

To meet this need, a disconnect or safety switch is critical. These products allow you to go about normal operation without the risk of an overload or short circuit harming you and your business, and ensure you’re well guarded against the worst.

At PSI Power & Controls, our team handles custom product and electrical solutions, including disconnect switches. We know how vital your safety is, and we take great care to ensure you only get the best to meet that need.

To learn more about our safety/disconnect switch products, check out our product guide. If you have any questions about a particular item, contact our team anytime.

What Are Disconnect Switches?

Both the device and the function of a disconnect switch are fairly straightforward. These devices are a simple component that integrates with a particular electrical device or generator system.

When applied, they’ll monitor the flow of electricity within the device. When dangerous fluctuations or interruptions are detected, your disconnect will, as you may expect, disconnect power to the tool, shutting off access safely before permanent harm or danger can arise.

There are two types of disconnect switches commonly used in commercial businesses: fused and non-fused (non-fusible). Today we’re discussing fused types to help you better identify your specific needs.

What Is a Fused Disconnect Switch?

The primary difference between the two most commonly used disconnect switches, fused and unfused, is all in the name. A fused disconnect switch allows for (and requires) the use of fuses to operate properly.

What’s a Fuse?

A fuse is a small glass cylinder with a small filament of metal inside. The metal used in a fuse melts very quickly if something goes wrong, such as an electrical failure or surge. If that happens, the filament will melt and the fuse will “blow,” immediately halting the operation of the electrical device.

Fuses used to be the standard, but modern advancements have moved on to breakers for electrical panels, which are now code.

Why Do I Need a Fused Disconnect?

Using a fused disconnect over a non-fusible one is largely based on various factors unique to your business. What equipment you’re using, your electrical power usage and capacity, and your current safety systems all play a vital role.

A fusible switch is generally considered safer overall (due to the added protection of the fuse or fuses), and while this is sometimes true, there are many situations where a fusible switch cannot be used, is not compatible, or is simply unnecessary.

Learn more here »

Fused vs. Non-Fused Disconnect Switches

Non-fused disconnect switches make it easy to stop the flow of power during maintenance or an emergency, but they offer no additional protection for the circuit or equipment. This leaves the job of over-current protection to the circuit breaker at the main electrical panel.

Fused disconnect switches provide a reliable way to shut off the power when needed, as well as over-current protection, short circuit protection, and more. This prevents the wiring from overheating and potentially starting a fire and offers some protection for the equipment itself.

For instance, if the motor in a piece of equipment is failing, it will draw extra current and blow the fuse. This may stop further damage in a machine that may be costly or hard to replace.

A non-fusible disconnect is less complicated, less costly, and more reliable, but it offers less protection for your wiring or equipment. It should be used for simple loads with a consistent current draw, such as lighting or resistive heating systems.

Fusible disconnects should be used for equipment that is costly, hard to repair, or has loads that may be extremely high or inconsistent. A fusible disconnect is more expensive and will need to be replaced periodically, but it may prevent unnecessary repairs or dangerous overloading that could lead to a fire.

Check out this blog post or talk to our experts at PSI today for more information on when to choose fusible versus non-fused disconnects.

Fusible Disconnect Switches From PSI Power & Controls

PSI has offered superior fusible and non-fusible disconnects for commercial businesses nationwide for decades. As a family-owned and -operated business, we take great pride in our ability to provide perfect products that meet a wide variety of commercial needs.

If you have questions about our safety switches, feel free to contact our team at any time.

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