Disconnect switches provide a means of quickly disconnecting mechanical or electronic systems from their primary power source safely. These switches operate both automatically, to protect against circuit faults, as well as manually in case an emergency stop or when planned maintenance is required. Battery disconnect switches are installed in an electrical system that runs on a battery. Industrial disconnect switches are typically installed in control panels and used to protect heavy machinery.
Industrial disconnect switches are used in conjunction with overload relays and motor starters to provide protection to motor circuits. In a control panel, this is also known as a Safety Switch or a load break switch. Safety Switches provide a disconnect means for a service entrance. Safety disconnect switches are primarily used to disconnect manufacturing equipment and heavy machinery from its power source. They protect motors in heavy machinery from faults and help provide a safe environment for maintenance workers. Safety switches are a NEC requirement (National Electrical Code) in all industrial or manufacturing facilities. Industrial disconnect switches are available with UL 98, UL 508, or UL 489 approvals. Safety disconnect switches come in fused or non-fused configurations. Fusible disconnects are rated up to 800A and non-fused versions are rated up to 1200A. Industrial disconnect switches are heavy duty switches that can either interrupt or make power circuits on and off load.