How to Wire a Thermal Switch

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Thermal switches, also known as thermostat switches, are used in applications where you would want to control an electric circuit based on temperature. Thermal switches are able to break a circuit when temperatures are too high for the system, as well as the reverse. These types of switches are found in hair dryers, heat sinks, circuit breaker panels, ovens and microwaves. Wiring them is not too complicated, and you'll need just a few basic electrical tools to do the job.

Things You'll Need

  • Wire stripper
  • Screwdriver
  • Insulated wires
  • Pliers
  • Drill
  • Drill bit
  • Determine the purpose for which you want to wire the switch. Thermal switches are used to open a circuit when a certain temperature is reached. These switches are usually heat specific, as they respond to a certain temperature suitable for the system.

  • Find the location on the circuit where you'll put the switch. It is advisable to fix the switch on the live wire of the appliance to control the current before it reaches the appliance.

  • Turn off the power to the circuit for safety reasons by unplugging the appliance from its port. Cut the live wire at the point where you want to locate your switch, then use the stripper to remove the insulation on the cut ends.

  • Open the switch casing using the screwdriver to expose the switch's terminals. Thermal switches, like any other switches, have two terminals and are not pole specific, which means that you can freely interchange the two terminals. Unscrew a length of the screws on the switch terminals, making sure you do not completely remove them.

  • Attach the striped tips of the switch, each on its own terminal, and screw them in firmly, using the screwdriver. Drill holes in the wall where you'll fix the switch. Screw the switch casing to the wall and replace the cover. Plug the appliance to the power source, then turn it on. When the temperature of the system reaches the appropriate level, the switch will respond accordingly.

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