Multi Pole Wall Switch

I am looking for a wall switch with 4 poles, i.e. 4 independent make contacts. Has anyone ever seen such an animal? I know of single (of course) and 2 pole, but have never seen 4 pole units. Thanks.
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Art Todesco wrote:

I doubt it. Any hints what the application is?? Sounds like it's time for a 4-pole relay (controlled by a SP wall switch), or some other form of remote control.
Jim
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Here's a hint ... actually, the whole thing. My church has 13 20 amp circuit breakers each controlling 2 400 watt metal halide lamps. Breakers don't work well as switches. They start tripping when the load is well below the 20 amp rating. They get hot when on, after many years of using them as a switch. They have been replaced several times. After replacement, they are fine for a few years ... then they start getting hot and start tripping. So, I would like to have an external set of switches to turn on the lights in groups. One switch would turn on 4 circuits or 8 lights.
Speedy Jim wrote:

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wrote:

The proper answer is below... use relays.

...Jim Thompson
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Hopefully you're using switch-rated circuit breakers? The normal ones are not permitted to be used as everyday on-off switches.
When you need to turn on multiple circuits from one switch or timer, it's standard in the industry to use ASCO (Or other brand) lighting contactors in 1-2-4-6-8 or 12 poles.

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Yes, I think the breakers were rated for use as switches, however, they still didn't do well. I know in the TV studio where I work, the electrical contractor and architect put one switch for each breaker for the lighting grid for the same reason. In the church, I had thought about using relays, but it is probably overkill there. I think using some 2 pole and some single pole switches will allow the lights to be set up in a 1, 2, both arrangement and will allow turning on only the left side or the right side or both.
HA HA Budys Here wrote:

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Well then why not try using single pole contactors, the kind used for low-voltage, automated, or computer-controlled switching?
Otherwise, you're probably limited, practically and financially speaking, to using 6- 2-pole switches and 1- 1 pole switch.

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As others have mentioned, the solution is relays.
BUT, in particular, you want LATCHING relays which only consume power when being switched.
There are systems that use 24 volt latching relays. The relays take up a hole in a J-box. Inside the box you have two wires that switch the load. Outside the box you have three wires (common, ON and OFF) that control the relay.
Since only 24 volts is used for the control the wiring of the low voltage doesn't suffer from many code restrictions.
IOW: It can be surface wiring or even "inaccessible".
We used to attend a church with such a system. One control box has a 8 position rotary switch and one ON/OFF rocker switch. If you wanted, say, all lamps ON, you would hold the rocker switch ON and rotate the rotary switch through all 8 positions.
These are GREAT systems as they permit the load carrying wiring to take the most direct route from CB panel to load and permit placement of as many control panels (yes, you can put them in parallel) as you care to connect.
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John Gilmer wrote:

The remote control relays are a good idea (if the switching needs to be remoted). GE stopped making that one but here's a replacement: http://www.reliantrelay.com /
OP Has to watch the rating of any relays used since this is metal halide HID lighting. Might also add that there are circuit breakers specifically rated for HID. Lighting contactors (as suggested previously) are available multipole and also available in latching versions.
Jim
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Art Todesco wrote:

I've done it this way, and it's probably the cheapest solution.
Mount a pair of two pole switches side by side in the same box. Before mounting, carefully drill a cross hole through the switch levers. After mounting, insert a finishing nail or piece of coat hanger wire through the holes in the two levers. Crimp the ends or use a spot of epoxy to keep the rod from sliding sideways and falling out.
Best to use "commercial or industrial" grade switches for this, as they'll have larger levers and probably tougher lever material too.
Presto! just what you were asking for.
Jeff
-- Jeff Wisnia (W1BSV + Brass Rat '57 EE)
"If you can keep smiling when things go wrong, you've thought of someone to place the blame on."
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