Bipolar switch: Know the best of 2022
If you are looking for a bipolar switch, this article is for you. Mandatory to use in 220V currents, this type of switch has many variations and attention is needed to buy the most suitable one.
Next, in addition to showing which are the best models for sale, we will explain what are the factors that differentiate one type of bipolar switch from another, and how you should analyze them.
First, the most important
- The bipolar switch is a device used to turn lamps on and off, designed specifically for installations with 220V voltage.
- In addition to offering more security, this type of switch is found in different formats and, often, even comes with a socket included.
- But to invest in the ideal product, we recommend that you note some points that will make a difference, for example, the number of keys, the dimension and the extra features.
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Before buying a bipolar switch it is important to know a little about its characteristics and how it works. To help you answer all your questions about this type of switch, we have created this Buying Guide.
From here, we will show you what types are available on the market, how much a device like this costs and where you should buy the ideal model for your home or workplace.
What is a bipolar switch?
You know what a switch is, right? It is that device installed on the walls that serves both to turn on and off the lamp in a certain place. However, there are several types of switches and one of them is the bipolar.
The NBR 54-10 of the Association of Technical Standards (ABNT) determines that the bipolar switch is mandatory in places whose electrical circuits use a voltage of 220 volts.
The bipolar switch has four terminals on the inside. Also known as connection points, the terminals are dedicated to the electrical wires.
Of these four, two are input and receive energy through the conducting wires that come from the circuit breakers; the other two terminals are output, that is, they send the conducting wires to the lamp.
That way, when we press the key of the bipolar switch, the device will cut and de-energize the phases of a 220 volt connection and, as a consequence, it will avoid possible accidents.
Did you know that the switch can control many loads like ceiling fans, lamps, some appliances and small engines?
When it is activated, it closes the circuit and allows the passage of electrical current to the device that will receive energy.
And when it is turned off, it opens the circuit and interrupts this current flow, disconnecting the load.
What is the difference between the bipolar switch and the monopolar switch?
In the single switch model there are only two terminals for placing the conductors, one for the phase and the other for the return.
However, it is only applied in two cases: When the circuit is 127 V, with phase and neutral, or when it is 220 V, but also with phase and neutral.
The bipolar is responsible for preventing short-circuit accidents.
When the circuit is 220 V phase and phase, the bipolar switch is mandatory. The bipolar is responsible for preventing short-circuit accidents.
This is because this model, as we have seen, has two terminals that are sectioned when the key is pressed.
What are the types of bipolar switches?
When buying the bipolar switch you will notice that there are two types: the parallel and the simple.
In practice, parallel and simple bipolar switches work in the same way, as they allow you to control lamps, ceiling fans and low-power motors from two different points.
However, the installation of the parallel bipolar switch, also called the Three Way, requires a greater expense of conductors than in relation to the simple model.
For example: The parallel switch is used so that you can turn on the lights at one point in the house and turn them off at another point in the same house.
Thus, the parallel bipolar switch ends up being more useful in large places, with stairs, rooms and rooms with more than one access.
In the following table, you will better understand the main characteristics and differences between the simple and parallel bipolar switch:
What is the difference between the Three Way bipolar switch and the Triple switch?
If you choose to buy the Three Way bipolar switch, care must be taken not to confuse it with the triple bipolar switch.
Therefore, in Purchase Criteria , we will deal in detail with the types of bipolar switches that differ according to the number of keys they have.
However, let’s take this topic a step further to explain the difference between the triple switch and the Three Way.
The triple switch is a model with three activation keys. For this reason, it is installed in large environments that need to activate lamps in different places.
The Three Way or parallel switch, as we have seen, is indicated for turning on lamps, small motors and ceiling fans from two different locations in the environment.
With this model it is possible, for example, to turn on the light of the room on one wall and turn it off on another wall in the same environment.
Is there an intermediate bipolar switch?
This is another doubt that may arise. Also called the Four Way, the intermediate switch is for those who want to turn on several lamps at once, using only one switch.
This option is very useful for activating external lighting, for example, which usually has many scattered lamps.
However, there is no intermediate bipolar switch. Therefore, if you use an intermediate type model in a location where the bipolar is required, a short circuit will occur in the installation.
Did you know that, in general, the switch that turns on and off lamps is installed near a door, at an average height ranging from 1.20 to 1.40 meters from the floor?
How much does the bipolar switch cost and where to buy it?
One of the characteristics of a bipolar switch is that it is usually inexpensive. In online stores, you will find models that cost between R $ 10 and R $ 145. This variation is mainly due to the manufacturer brand, model and design.
In online stores, such as Amazon, there is yet another advantage, which is to buy without leaving home, safely and comfortably.
Purchasing Criteria: How to choose the bipolar switch
You have already discovered that there are different types of bipolar switches, with regard to the operation and installation model.
However, to make sure you are buying the right model, it is important to know a little more about the aspects that differentiate one type from another. Are they:
- Dimension and design
- Number of keys
- With or without socket
- With or without light
- Manufacturing material
- Nominal chain
Next, you will understand how to compare, in practice, each of these criteria that determine the type of bipolar switch.
Dimension and design
One of the factors that you must take into account when choosing the best bipolar switch is the size and, of course, the design and color of the device.
To do so, check the width, length and depth measurements that are described on the packaging. Also, make sure that the size of the switch matches the space you have at the installation site.
Number of keys
We have already dealt with a type of bipolar switch that has three activation keys, the triple switch.
But in addition to it, you will also find models with other amounts of keys. In this regard, you will have at least three options. Check out:
- One-button switch : This is a bipolar switch composed of a button designed to control lamps from a specific location;
- Switch with two keys : This model consists of two keys that will control two or more lamps separately, but from the same starting point;
- Switch with three keys : As we have seen, this option controls the activation of three light points separately, but originating from the same point.
With or without socket
If you want to further increase the usefulness of your bipolar switch it is important that you check whether the chosen model has a socket or not.
Some manufacturer brands offer models that have either a variety of number of keys, or one or more plugs.
With or without light
It is also worth checking whether the chosen bipolar switch has lighting or not. Models that have this feature are equipped with a Neon or LED mini lamp.
The main function of this type of switch is to indicate the location of the device and also to show whether the lamp is on or off.
In general, the bipolar switch with light is most used in hotels and outdoor installations.
Be sure to also consider the material of manufacture of the bipolar switch, in addition to the color. These aspects can vary a lot depending on the model and brand manufacturer.
In any case, the most important thing at this stage is to ensure that the material from which the bipolar switch is made is, in fact, resistant and durable.
You will find different materials, from high performance thermoplastic to ABS.
It is worth mentioning that the most current models have features that further improve the quality of the material and its useful life, for example: Anti-UV and anti-dust additives.
The rated current can express, among other things, the maximum electrical current capacity that a given device can withstand without being damaged.
So, when buying the bipolar switch this is one of the technical specifications that deserves your attention.
Measured in amperes, the rated current of a switch like this can vary from 20 A to 40 A.