Push Button Switch Rating

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Old 02-17-16, 07:09 PM
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Push Button Switch Rating

Okay, I am looking for a little help here in determining the amperage rating on a project I am working on. This is basically a lamp project and need some help in determining the current going through a switch. So I've attached a poor man's schematic of the wiring. I've removed the ground wire on the schematic to keep it simple. So I will have a wire that will plug in to a 120v outlet which will run to a junction box. Inside the junction box, and outlet will be wired. I would wire a push button switch on the hot side, with intention of turning on and off a 100w light bulb (worst case, likely smaller). I found a switch that I would like to use. It is 3A at 125VAC. I guess the question I have is the current going through the switch is determined all the components on this schematic (including whatever may be hooked up to the outlet) or is it only determined by the light bulb. Is it as simple as 100w / 120v =.833A and the 3A rating of the switch would be sufficient? If not, what would be the minimum amp rating for a switch in this application and what gauge wire should be used going in to and coming out of the switch? Any input would be appreciated...even if that input is to not do this.

 
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Old 02-17-16, 07:27 PM
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The switch needs to be sized to carry the load it will serve, in your case .833 amps.

The wire should be sized to the rest of the circuit, which will likely be 15 amps, so I would recommend #14 wire

I typically frown upon building home made light fixtures as they are not UL listed and therefore a code violation. For temporary/experimental use I let it slide.
 
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Old 02-17-16, 07:35 PM
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Old 02-17-16, 10:22 PM
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Technically, that switch is all that is required to momentarily switch the light on. However, the light bulb load is much higher every time you push the button and that button may not last very long before the contacts are arced.
 
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Old 02-18-16, 09:15 AM
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Thanks for the input guys. My lack of artistic skills does portray an arcade machine looking button. The one I have is similar to the one pictured below, maybe a little more robust looking. It is an SPST on-off switch, not a momentary switch...if this makes any difference.

I was planning on using 14GA wire as recommended by Tolyn Ironhead

Again, always appreciate the help provided on this site.

 
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Old 02-18-16, 10:15 AM
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How are you going to attach 14ga wire to the 20ga pins on the switch?
 
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Old 02-18-16, 11:39 AM
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guy48065, thanks for your input. The switch pictured is not the exact same switch I have, but I will make sure to check the pin size on the button before proceeding.
 
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