Safety Switches & Disconnect Switches
Safety switches are effective for disconnecting equipment and circuits from their power source swiftly and safely. These safety or disconnect switches are used in many ways in the industrial and commercial sectors.
Disconnect switches can be used for safe service entrance, safe disconnect for maintenance and testing, fault protection for motorized equipment, and an emergency stoppage in the event of a complication.
Types of Disconnect Switches We Offer
- General duty safety switches: General duty safety switches can be used in a wide range of applications, including residential, commercial, or light industrial uses. The general duty safety switches we carry are load-break rated and optimized for use with light-duty motor circuits. They can also be used for service entrance applications.
- Heavy-duty safety switches: Heavy-duty safety disconnect switches are used in commercial and industrial applications. They’re load-break rated, dependable, and provide reliable operation for mission-critical functions.
- Elevator control switches: Elevator control switches provide all-in-one solutions that make it easy to adhere to NFPA and other applicable building codes. Easily installed, these switches provide reliable, comprehensive control.
- Double-door safety switches: Exposure to line-side power is a very real risk. Double-door safety switches provide considerable protection against line-side power. The compartmentalized design and built-in internal barrier separate the switching compartment from the fuse compartment, thus eliminating the potential for line-side power contact.
- Line-isolation safety switches: Line-isolation safety switches reduce the potential exposure to line-side voltage. The compartmentalized design offers a method for disconnecting industrial control panels. This makes it possible to access the controls without exposure to line-side voltage.
- Service entrance safety switches: Service entrance switches are built to disconnect on the utility side. This design requires fewer components and delivers a cost-effective solution for the needs of most businesses. As required, these can be fitted with an additional disconnect breaker for added protection.
- 4-pole and 6-pole disconnect switches: 4-pole and 6-pole disconnect switches are used for disconnecting two-speed, two-winding motors. These fused switches provide superior overcurrent and short-circuit protection.
For more about the disconnect switches we offer, contact PSI Power & Controls at (704) 594-4107. It’s our pleasure to help you select the switch that’s best for the needs of your business.
What Is a Safety Switch (Disconnect Switch)?
A safety switch (also known as a “disconnect switch” or “load break switch”) serves multiple purposes, but its primary functions are to serve as a disconnect means for a service entrance and a disconnect means and fault protection for motors (heavy machinery).
What does this mean? Safety switches are primarily used to disconnect manufacturing equipment and heavy machinery from its power source. You may need to disconnect your equipment from its electrical supply for a variety of reasons, including:
- Emergency stoppage
Safety switches are an NEC requirement (National Electrical Code) in all industrial or manufacturing facilities established by the National Fire Protection Association. According to NEC article 430.102B, a safety switch must be in sight from all motors or manufacturing equipment. The NEC defines “in sight” as visible and not more than 50 feet from the equipment it controls.
There are multiple types of disconnect switches available, depending on the conditions inside your working environment. At PSI Power & Controls, we offer fusible safety switch/disconnects with a NEMA 4 enclosure or NEMA 4X enclosure and non-fusible safety switch/disconnects with NEMA 4 or 4X enclosures.
Disconnect Switch Operations
When you install safety or disconnect switches, they can operate in two important ways. One, they give operators complete and near-instantaneous control over power where the switch is applied, allowing a complete cut in power at any time.
Additionally, disconnect switches provide fault protection, monitoring and detecting shorts and overloads. If a fault is detected, the switch will automatically cut power, reducing risks to personnel and minimizing damage to circuits and equipment.
Our Safety Switches Come in a Range of Amperages
Our safety switches/safety disconnects are offered in amperage ranges from 30 to 1200 as needed and are effective in protecting a wide range of equipment from heavy industrial and manufacturing tools, to simpler applications such as refrigeration and HVAC.
Safety switches are ideal for use in manufacturing, medical facilities, gas stations and fuel storage, educational facilities, pharmaceutical, and more.
NEMA Enclosure Information
PSI safety switch products are housed in NEMA enclosures rated 1, 3, 3R, 4, 4X, and 12 as per your environment and needs. These enclosures are suitable for:
- NEMA 1: Suitable for standard indoor use — protects against dust and debris ingress and minimizes risks from personnel contact.
- NEMA 3/3R: Suitable for indoor/outdoor use with a degree of protection against precipitation in addition to standard protections.
- NEMA 4/4X: Effective for indoor/outdoor use and effectively sealed against all forms of precipitation, as well as the 4X variant featuring resistance to corrosives.
- NEMA 12: Rated for indoor use with protection against solid objects, dirt ingress, moisture, and personnel contact.
Amp ranges available from 30 to 1200 as needed. PSI Power & Controls safety/disconnect switches are available in fusible and non-fusible. NEMA 4 and 4X enclosure options, with neutral bar required/not required.
Options for amp ranges are from 30 to 600 as you require, and 2-, 3-, and 4-poles are available as specified. NEMA enclosures 1, 3R, 4X, and 12 are available as per your specifications.
Option To Install Fuses
PSI Power & Controls offers fuse installation as per your needs for safety switch products. Amp ranges included from 30 to 3000, and 2-, 3-, and 4- pole configurations are available.
Should I Use a Fusible or Non-Fusible Safety Switch?
Fused safety switches, or those fitted with a fuse in their construction, are generally considered the safer option overall.
However, if the device being protected already has fault and overload protection outside of a fuse, then the fusible switch is not strictly necessary and thus may be considered a waste of resources. Additionally, many tools and applications require that one or the other be used, as per NEC code stipulations.
Which your business uses, and for which applications, is based largely on a variety of factors, including your current electrical safety equipment, electrical load and capacity, and the tool in question. For an in-depth answer or some guidance on which to choose for your needs, contact a PSI Power & Controls technician or product expert.
What Does a Disconnect Switch Do?
A safety disconnect switch provides a means of quickly disconnecting mechanical or electronic systems from their primary power source safely. These switches operate both automatically, to protect against circuit faults, and manually in case an emergency stop or planned maintenance is required.
What’s the Difference Between a Fused Disconnect Switch & a Circuit Breaker?
While both are intended to open a circuit quickly in the event of a current overload or a short circuit, they vary greatly in design and use. A fused disconnect switch is a combination of a switch to disconnect the circuit and a fuse to shut the circuit off in the event of a problem.
Alternatively, a circuit breaker combines the functionality of a switch and an overcurrent disconnect into one device. When maintenance needs to be performed on the circuit or connected equipment, the circuit breaker can be manually turned off.
What Is a Safety Disconnect Switch?
Safety switches are effective for disconnecting equipment and circuits from their power source in a swift and safe manner. These safety or disconnect switches are used in many ways in many industrial and commercial sectors, including being used for safe service entrance, safe disconnect for maintenance and testing, fault protection for motorized equipment, and an emergency stoppage in the event of a complication.
For more information on our premier safety switches and circuit breakers, contact one of our product experts today. We’re happy answer any questions you may have.