Question about Connecticut Electric 40 Amp 2 Pole Circuit Breaker

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What size amp switch do I need.

I want to put a on and off switch just like a light switch in the wiring for my compressor. It has a 40 amp breaker and is a 220 volt compressor. I have a 30 amp, 600 volt switch and I need to know if this is correct or do I need to use a 40 amp switch. Thanks

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  • 6456trucks Mar 03, 2009

    thanks for the information is was very helpful.


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First of all, i am not sure if you are knowledgable on electric circuits....your breaker panel is probably a single phase which is nominal so your compressor being a 40 amp 220 volt unit needs a dual breaker at 40 amps meaning that both the black and white wires go to the breaker......then if you want to also add another on-off switch in line with it to control it from another location, you can use a single pole, single throw switch rated for at least 220 volt with contacts that can handle at least 40 amps or would connect such a switch by cutting either the black wire and connect both ends of the cut black wire to the 2 contacts of the switch or you can also do the same with the white using a single pole switch though, one side of the line will always be live even though you shut off the can use a double pole, single throw switch to connect both the white and black wires to, which will completely cut off the power when switched off....if all of this is too much to understand, then just use your existing 40 amp breaker in the panel as your on and off switch........good careful as 40 amps and 220 volt is extremely LETHAL........good luck

Posted on Jun 28, 2010

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NO! Use a switch rated higher in amps and equal to or higher in voltage relative to the breaker rating. Use a 40 or 60 amp switch rated a minimum 220 volts.

Posted on Feb 28, 2009

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SOURCE: I want to put a on and off switch just like a

On the compressor or in the manual it should say the Full Load Current or Full Line Current (FLC). I would go by that to size your switch.

They make motor rated toggle switches which look the same as a light switch. You would need a *blank* amp motor rated 2 pole toggle switch it should have 2 screws on each side excluding the ground. The left side screws should have one circuit on them and the right side should have the other circuit on them. Mount this in a metal box with a "RS switch cover" for inside installs or a "Bell" or ferrous box for outside with a weatherproof switch cover. Make sure you buy a big enough box to fit the switch and room to bend the wires. Also are you planning on just cutting a cord and running to the switch or hard wiring? Make sure to get appropriate connectors and if it is exposed to possible damage consider using flexible mettalic conduit.

FYI in most cases a switch can not be oversized it can be undersized however.

Feel free to write back if this is unclear.

Posted on Mar 31, 2009

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