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Single Pole Switches

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Single pole (SP) switches can be either single throw or double throw, which refers to the number of conducting positions; that is, the number of terminals that will complete the circuit. They are abbreviated as SPST or SPDT accordingly. SP switches consist of two brass terminals, connecting wires, the actuator or toggle switch and an enclosure that is most frequently plastic. Read More…

Single Pole Switches A single pole switch is a simple electric switch that is either connected or disconnected to a circuit. Single pole switches are general purpose switches that are used in many situations because they are either on or off, a useful and helpful characteristic.
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Leading Manufacturers

Eden Prairie, MN  |  800-806-6113

The electric switches that we offer here at ALUDEC USA cannot be topped by the competition. We breathe and live precision and that means our products are at the top of the line at all times. It is our goal that each and every customer has their expectations exceeded so that we keep you coming back to us for all of your electric switch needs. Contact us via telephone or email or visit our website today to learn more about how we may be able to assist you!

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ALUDEC USA $$$

Plainville, CT  |  860-793-9281

Carling Technologies is one of the world's largest manufacturers of Hydraulic/Magnetic and Thermal Circuit Breakers, Electrical Switches and Assemblies, and Advanced Systems including Power Distribution Centers and Electronic Control Systems. From switches to custom controls and touch screen displays, Carling provides the most advanced electronic systems for HMI Solutions.

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Carling Technologies, Inc $$$

Shelton, CT  |  203-951-4600

Since 1947, EAO Switch Corporation has built a global reputation for innovation, consistent quality and excellence in the electrical world. Producing electric switch components such as push button switches, rocker switches, DIP switch and switch panel elements, EAO maintains high standards in every area of production. Contact us today for a competitive solution to your electronic switch needs!

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EAO Switch Corporation $$$

Little Rock, AR  |  866-600-6040

Carlton-Bates is a distributor of all kinds of electric switches: toggle switches, pushbutton switches, rocker switches, rotary tap and rotary switches, slide switches and more. We were founded in 1929, and are one of the 20 members of the National Electrical Distributors Association (NEDA).

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Carlton-Bates Company $$$

Franklin, WI  |  800-824-4031

At MELTRIC, our Switch-Rated plugs and receptacles combine the safety and functionality of a disconnect switch with the convenience of a plug and receptacle into one cost-effective, reliable device. These plugs can be safely connected and disconnected under full load. Since 1982, MELTRIC has been dedicated to ensuring electrical and user safety with every product.

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MELTRIC $$$

Harbor City, CA  |  310-534-0959

Judco Manufacturing Inc. manufactures and distributes a complete line of switches including pushbutton switches, slide switches, toggle switches, rocker switches, tact switches & custom switches to meet the needs of many applications. Call us for electrical switch needs and be our choice for switches.

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Judco Manufacturing Inc. $$$
placeholder image ALUDEC USA Carling Technologies, Inc EAO Switch Corporation Carlton-Bates Company MELTRIC Judco Manufacturing Inc.

One characteristic of single pole, single throw switches are that they have "On" and "Off" markings on them because those are the only two options. SPDT switches are slightly different because they are changeover switches that toggle between two circuit options. The maximum voltage and current of switches is a necessary specification to keep in mind in addition to knowing the difference between AC and DC currents and what the situation requires.

Single pole switches are very common and are used in virtually every building that uses electricity: light switches are SP. The large category of power switches or buttons are SPST, but other simple function devices use these switches as well, such as doorbells.

Single pole switches have few parts because of the basic function they provide. As the switch is flipped (or pushed in the case of push button SPST switches), a strip of conducting material is brought into contact with both terminals, closing the circuit and allowing electricity to flow through the actuator. The operator is protected from the current because the components are safely contained inside the enclosure. When the switch is toggled back, the conductor breaks contact with both terminals and the circuit is open.

Single pole, double throw switches are similar in operation. One actuator is flipped from one circuit line to another. There are two terminals that the switch toggles between, removing the "Off" setting. SP double throw switches are used to change circuits from a higher voltage current to lower current, for example, if the lights need to remain on but at a lower intensity. SPST and SPDT can be used in combination to create more options. When two SPST switches are used in combination, they essentially form a double pole, single throw switch.

Though other switches can do the same thing in one enclosure, single pole switches are very common, comparatively inexpensive and easy to install. Some switches may be illuminated through use of a small bulb inside the plastic shell that covers the actuator. Timers, faceplates and additional enclosures are also available.