The Reliability of a Bolted Pressure Switch and the Function of a Pressure Switch

A bolted pressure switch is most frequently installed as the main disconnect for facilities. It is often easy for employees to identify the bolted pressure switch due to its long operating handle that compresses the operating mechanism spring.

Bolted Pressure Switch

A bolted pressure switch consists of movable blades and stationary contacts, coupled with arcing contacts and a simple toggle mechanism, for applying bolted pressure to both the hinge and jaw contacts. This creates a contact similar to a bolted bus joint. The operation of a bolted pressure switch consists of a spring that is compressed by the operating handle and then released at the end of the stroke to provide “quick-make” and “quick-break” switching action.

An electric-trip bolted pressure switch has a stored energy latch-type mechanism coupled with a solenoid trip release. Without these features, it would be the same as any other manually-operated switch. Bolted pressure switches are available in ratings of 800, 1200, 1600, 200, 2500, 3000, 4000, 5000 and 6000A. They are for use on circuits with available fault currents of 200,000A symmetrical rms when used in combination with current-limiting fuses.

Keeping a Facility’s Bolted Pressure Switch Functioning Properly

While a bolted pressure switch is easy to operate, just like any piece of equipment, a facility’s bolted pressure switch needs to be properly maintained in order to ensure it will function in a reliable manner on an ongoing basis. Maintenance of a facility’s bolted pressure switch should include visual and physical examination, cleaning and lubrication of the switch itself. If a facility’s bolted pressure switch is not maintained properly, the switch could potentially fail, resulting in costly downtime. This can prove to be even more costly if the bolted pressure switch serves as the main disconnect for a facility.

What is the Purpose of a Pressure Switch?

A bolted pressure switch is a small subset of the overall category of pressure switches. A pressure switch is an important part of an overall system that serves a variety of different functions in a commercial of industrial setting, as well as in various agricultural settings, such as at a dairy. A pressure switch is a type of switch that makes electrical contact when a specific pressure level is reached on its input. It is used to provide switching from “on” to “off” from either a pneumatic or hydraulic source. Depending on the switch”s design, it will make contact on either the pressure rise or pressure fall.

Examples of pneumatic pressure switches include switching off an electric-driven gas compressor when a set pressure has been reached in the tank. It can also be used when switching off a gas compressor when no feed is present in the “suction stage.”

Examples of hydraulic pressure switches are often used in automobile manufacturing, such as turning on a warning light if a car’s engine’s oil pressure runs low or when a car’s brake lights need to turn on by noting an increase in pressure within hydraulic brake pipes.