Switch wiring with 240V

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  #1  
Old 11-05-04, 12:49 PM
rprossil
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Switch wiring with 240V

I'm planning on installing a 240V wall heater in a basement bathroom. The heater has its own thermostat, but I'd like to put a switch with a pilot light on the wall so there is a reminder that the unit is on. I went to the electrical supply house and told them what I wanted and got a switch rated for the proper voltage, but there are 3 terminals on the switch. Do I just use 2 of them and only connect one of the hot wires through the switch or do I need a switch that has 4 terminals (2 in and 2 out)?
Thanks.
 
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Old 11-05-04, 02:44 PM
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How many amps are we talking about here?
 
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Old 11-05-04, 04:27 PM
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rprossil,

If your switch has a pilot light then the third connector is for the unswitched line to power the bulb in the switch.
You need to have a switch with a bulb rated for 220 volts plus the amperage rating has to match the breaker that serves the hw tank.

If you are going to have a pilot light at the switch then you can do this with a three conductor cable.
It should be permissable to only switch one leg of the 220 volt circuit which would take two wires and the third wire would be the other side of the line to power the bulb.
 
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Old 11-05-04, 05:47 PM
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Sounds like you got a single pole switch. The 3rd wire is probably the neutral for light. It will work but it is better to use a 2 pole switch for 240 volt.
 
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Old 11-05-04, 09:59 PM
rprossil
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It is a single pole switch - should I see about a double pole instead? By the way it will be on a 20 amp circuit - the heater is 3000 Watts maximum.
 
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Old 11-06-04, 03:07 AM
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You need a double pole 20 amp switch. I've never seen one with a pilot light, but they may be out there. You'll have to attach the two hots to the switch, and you'll have to have a neutral for the pilot to work. That means at least a 12/3 cable.
 
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Old 11-08-04, 09:20 PM
rprossil
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I was able to get one from our local supply house. It is a double pole, single throw switch with a built in pilot made by Leviton. It wasn't cheap ($29), but I think it's worth it as an extra measure of protection (reminder that the heater is on). Thanks for your help.
 
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