Light Switch for alternative use - need help wiring


Old 03-04-07, 04:24 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 18
Light Switch for alternative use - need help wiring

My Dad has an older table saw that was his fathers. It is in good condition but the on/off switch went bad. The saw has a pull=on push=off control that was attached to the bad switch. He was able to insert a light switch into the space where the bad on/off switch was and it moves very smoothly. The trouble is wiring it. The power cord goes to the power control. The power cord has a black wire and a white wire that is supposed to be wired to the switch and then continue to a set of wires - one black and one white (same as the cord). I'm sure this isn't difficult to wire but the way he did it is wrong (see in photos) and tripped the breaker when plugged in. If you can help us figure this out we'd really appreciate it!

You can view the photos here:

The light switch in the photograph is the same type in the photo.

Thanks again for your time and help.
May you be happy and well,

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Old 03-04-07, 04:32 PM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: NE Wis / Paris France{ In France for now }
Posts: 4,808
i hate to step in on the safety isuse what manufacter the table saw it is ??

i am sure there is some work working shop area that sell the parts for the switch .

that photo i did see there are few thing you have to understand this

most table saw do have safety switch when the power go off it will go to " off " postion automatically you have to reset or turn the switch to off each time that feature what we called undervoltage or no voltage protection.

second thing that that switch i am not sure but i am assuming it do have overload protection for the motor

so you try to wired up plain toggle switch what you are doing is bypass all the safety feature there

i am sure other will step in here as well to do this safe way

Merci , Marc
Old 03-04-07, 05:13 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: North of Boston, MA.
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I see a few things wrong. #1 Trying to use a switch not intended for this peice of equipment. 2) switch wired wrong.

I appreciate the help you offer, The greatest help you can offer is to go to the store (elec.. sears what ever) and get the propper device. These are very common items, put it back the way it was. Thats my best advice not knowing the exact model or safety switches that may be in series with it.

Also it must be a motor rated switch.

Good luck.

Last edited by lectriclee; 03-04-07 at 05:14 PM. Reason: motor rated switch
Old 03-04-07, 06:20 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
Using any electrical device for a purpose other than what it was intended can be dangerous. However, it is also possible to do so in a manner that is safe. Without seeing the setup, I do not know if the switch can be installed safely or not.

As for the wiring, it sounds like a classic beginner's mistake is being made. The hot and neutral of a circuit are never placed on both sides of a switch. This will always trip the circuit breaker.

Before going any further on this or any other electrical issue, buy and read several books on home wiring. ANY book on home wiring (emphasis on ANY) will explain how switches work and how to wire them.
Old 03-05-07, 05:51 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Bras D'Or, Nova Scotia ,Canada
Posts: 173
Smile Agreeing with French 277v

Safety first!!! The under voltage protection is a very important safety aspect of switches used to control any piece of equipment like a table saw. When the power is lost (circuit breaker trip/ fuse blown/ power outage) to the the equipment it will shut of and must be manually restarted again when the power is restored (usually by pushing the ON button again) and it will not start automatically. An ordinary toggle switch does not have this safety feature and the saw could start again if any of these power loss conditions exist and are corrected. As you can imagine this could pose a serious risk to life and limb. Most industrial suppliers and/or working shops should be able to supply you with the parts to safely repair the saw. Remember to TURN OFF THE POWER before attempting any kind of electrical repair. Good luck and be safe

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