Anyone familiar with the inside of this type of switch may be able to help
me out. The wiring, switch, and thermal overload reset switch is surrounded
by a plastic housing. Got that off. Then disconnected the wires, and took
out the switches. Took the 2 wires off the prongs on the back of the main
power switch (which actually has 4 prongs), and separated it from the sheet
metal frame with the plastic clips a in a plastic shroud which also holds
the back of the switch to the front. The sheet metal has got an opening of
about 1.5" high by .83" wide.
The insides of the main power switch has 2 sets of copper flat spring-like
conductors, which are engaged by the motion of the rocker on the front. For
conductivity inside the springs and the housing have metal projections,
which are connected to the 4 wire connections at the rear of the switch, on
the back of its housing. Not only did it have sawdust in there, but one set
of projections was pitted. Well not pitted, melted almost completely away.
And the spring (rocking conductor) itself is black.
There are 4 wire connections on the back of this switch. Only two were
being used. i.e. with wires to it. The other side is a duplicate. Those
projections/spring conductor are fine
Is it safe to reconnect on the other side with the remaining spring, with
its good protuberances and spring and using the other 2 wire connector
prongs at the back? Can I leave the fried spring out if/when I re-install
Is this a poor switch? Or is this switch designed for something with less
If I need to get a new one altogether, would I find one the same size, and
or style do you think. However I am not adverse to creating another mount.
If it were me, with as much time already spent as you apparently have, I'd
replace the switch. I doubt there's too much special about it. Most
manufacturers aren't in the switch business so they buy from someone who is.
You can too. If it makes you feel better, buy one with a higher amperage rating
the next time. The current limiting factor will remain the circuit breaker, as
it should be.
Nope. All my big fixed machines have pushbuttons controlling proper
NVR magnetic starters with overload trips. When I do the last couple,
they'll all have separate locakable isolators and knee-paddles for off
UK practice as standard is much better than the US anyway, but this use
of simple toggle switches scares the hell out of me. It's nearly as
dangerous as not wiring your neutrals up right...
You want to leave all springs inplace 'cause the mechanical action
of the switch most likely needs both springs. The discoloration of the
working spring may just be cosmetic and the spring may be OK as far as
Switching an electric motor on and off is tough on switches because of
the inductive kickback from the motor makes the switch arc on opening.
I'd expect a motor switch to give up after 10,000 on-off cycles.
Couple things to think about.
1. If the spring[s] and/or the mechanical parts of the switch are
broke/fried/unspringy affecting the machanical action of the switch you
want a new one. If the switch action is still good (snaps and holds in
the on and off positions) then rework is a feasible way to go.
2. It sounds like the maker installed a double pole switch and only
used one pole. In this case, switching over to the unused pole is
perfectly OK. Just make sure that the wires (both wires) and all the
hot spade lugs/terminals/metal dodads are safely inside a non conductive
(plastic) box. Avoid letting a wire touch metal, it can make the whole
machine hot, yielding a nasty (possibly lethal) surprize to the
operator. Make sure the line cord has strain relief, lest a sudden tug
pull a wire loose and let it touch something. Treat BOTH sides of the
AC line as hot. Neutral (white) is sometimes improperly connected to
hot. Don't bet on neutral being safe. While you are at it, make sure
the frame of the machine IS connected to safety ground (the round third
prong on the power plug. If the frame is grounded properly, then the
frame cannot become hot no matter what wiring faults may exist inside
3. To find a replacement switch, try the machine maker. If still in
business, you may be pleasantly surprized to find the he still has spare
parts, instruction manuals, accessories, lotsa good stuff. Google with
the maker's name and part number.
If the machine maker is no hhelp then try looking for the switch
maker's name, NOT the machine maker's name. The switch maker's name and
part number should be cast into the body of the switch. Was it me, I'd
try to find a replacement since they don't cost much. I'd only get into
switch rework if I could not find a replacement.
I know this won't work for a table saw.. but I had a similiar
frustration. Drill press switch broke. Fixed it a couple times. Bought
new switch. New switch broke after a few months. Now the drill press is
hardwired to "on" and I use a power strip to turn it on and off. Not
ideal, but it's so frustrating to see shortcuts on things like switches
which make them useless.
An alternative is to get a standard metal conduit box and a 220V 20AMP
switch (or similar) and mount it to the tool.
Theswitches in those power strips are usually not the creme de la creme
while the UL Labs residential and commercial switches can usually be found
in some serious heavy-duty configurations.
Run some 12 wire from the switch back into the tool (or visa versa;
mountingthe box so one of its emt openings covers the old switch location
and glue or screw the box in place.
What brand is your saw? Quite a few of the manufacturers can order you
My suggestion would be to just get a new switch... I realize you have
some time in the removal/disection of the current one, but you'll know
exactly what you have when you rewire a new one.
I'm going to be getting a new swtich for my TS (Craftsman 10" ). I'm
going to get a "replacement" for one of the new craftsman saws and put
it onto my old one. They run around $18 for the swtich.
Happy wiring... :-)
Its a 110/220, so a duplicate. I just have to literally clean it and move
to the other 2 prongs
I can see the problem reoccuring in the future due to sawdust. It does have
a rubber seal, and I don't know where the sawdust is getting in, or how to
prevent it from happening in the future. ANy ideas?
ps I did contact the TS mfr before and he said I could seal any holes b/c
the heat situation isn't a consideration, but I think I'd need a plastic
sheet across the front, and e- tape around the back. ANy plastic ideas?
I weighed the options, and just put it back clean on the 111-220V side, with
a lot of e- tape sealing the insides at least. I am wondering what I can do
about sealing any plastic film to the sheet metal on the front face.
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