Ship switches are usually very reliable electrical devices. Most switches on vessel are designed to operate 100,000 times or more without failure if the voltage and current ratings are not exceeded. Even so, ship switches do fail. The following information will help you in troubleshooting switches.
Replacement of ships switches
When a ship switch is faulty, it must be replaced. The technical manual for the equipment will specify the exact replacement switch. If it is necessary to use a substitute switch, it must have all of the following characteristics:
- At least the same number of poles.
- At least the same number of throws.
- At least the same number of breaks.
- At least the same number of positions.
- The same configuration in regard to momentary or locked positions.
- A voltage rating equal to or higher than the original switch.
- A current rating equal to or higher than the original switch.
- A physical size compatible with the mounting.
The number of poles and throws of a switch can be determined from markings on the switch itself. The switch case will be marked with a schematic diagram of the switch or letters, such as SPST for single pole, single throw. The voltage and current ratings will also be marked on the switch. The number of breaks can be determined from the schematic marked on the switch or by counting the terminals after the number of poles and throws have been determined.
The type of actuator and the number of positions of the switch can be determined by looking at the switch and switching it between positions. Whenever component substitutions are made, the correct replacement must be installed as soon as possible.
Vessel configuration must be maintained, and unauthorized modifications are prohibited.