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What is a Time Switch?



Time Switch

Time Switch

Photo: Timothy Thiele

So what exactly is a time switch? Could it be some sort of time machine that takes you back in time and makes the switch from now to then? Of course not! The concept is really pretty simple. It is a device with a built in timer that turns a circuit on and off. It simply does the work for you.

Inside the door cover, you'll notice instructions on how to use the time switch and the rating limits for the the time switch. This particular time switch is rated for 40 amps, 125 volts, 4375 watts, 690 VA pilot duty, and 1 HP.

Time switches are great for indoor or outdoor lighting, small outdoor pond pumps, swimming pool pumps, and other devices that need to be turned on and off throughout the day.

The time switch time is set by lifting up on the timer dial and turning it to the proper time. This is set by lining the time of day on the dial, with the silver time arm in the center of the dial. Caution! Do not turn the center time arm pointer! When power is applied to the time switch, the motorized dial will keep time, just like a clock or watch.

As the dial advances, it triggers "on" and "off" trippers. These are bolted on the face of the dial and turn the switch "on" and "off" at the time you select on the dial. You can set as many times as you want, which makes this a nice feature. The switch it controls is basically a single-pole switch, which is either "on" or "off".

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