standard lighting switch in a car ???

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Old 07-03-08, 06:57 AM
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standard lighting switch in a car ???

I am wondering if i guy could put a standard household light switch on a 12 volt system like a car? I dont see why not...but thought i would ask. I place to put a max of about 30amps through it running 10 gauge wire.

WOuld i need a 30amp DC swtch or would a standard household switch work just fine without meltdown?

i know it is a strange question
 
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Old 07-03-08, 07:13 AM
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Standard household toggle switches are rated for 15 amps. You can get commercial switches rated for 20 amps but are harder to find.
 
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Old 07-03-08, 07:41 AM
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so if im running 10 gauge stranded wire rated at 30amps with a 30 amp fuse i could have a melt down from a car battery at the switch?
 
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Old 07-03-08, 09:08 AM
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how much total wire length?

voltage drop can be a factor, you only have 12 volts to start with. Maybe run the switch to an automotive square relay, near the load.
 
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Old 07-03-08, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by scale21 View Post
so if im running 10 gauge stranded wire rated at 30amps with a 30 amp fuse i could have a melt down from a car battery at the switch?
Yes, that is correct. A 30A load is double the rating of a standard household light switch. That could lead to malfunction or meltdown of the switch.
 
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Old 07-03-08, 10:19 AM
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Plus the contacts on a household switch are rated for AC current. The will perform differently, and if anything need derated for DC current.

If you need to switch 30 amps, you could use an automotive relay, which will have 30A DC contacts. I don't think the coil will have much long term effects on a household switch.

That all said, there are a whole host of switch styles and mounts more suited to most automotive needs that would be electrically better than a household switch.
 
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Old 07-03-08, 10:37 AM
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Plus, switch contacts are rated for resistive loads, tungsten loads (a bulb) or inductive loads (a motor). This info is seldom on the packaging, though.
 
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