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thedeadlyx asked A 6 pin toggle switch rated at 25 amps and 12 vdc handle a DC voltage of 16 consistently?
I have a 6 pin toggle switch I want to use for a power tool that runs around 16 vdc when it's running consistently. I wanted to know if I could use the toggle switch rated at 12 vdc and 25 amps when the current doesn't go higher than 8 amps?
And got the following answer:
Sure, no problem. It's an automotive switch which means it's already expecting to run at up to fourteen volts, it's DC rated which is the important thing. You're running at half again rated voltage and one third rated amperage, no sweat. This switch should never be run above say 24 volts without checking with the mfr. However as a rule of thumb, AC-rated switches can generally handle the same current at 12Vdc that they're rated for at 110Vac. Added: You're running a motor load. If the inrush current is 8 amps you're all set. If the running current is 8 amps the inrush (starting) current will be a lot higher. If your switch has different ratings for resistive and motor loads then you know where you are. If it doesn't say then you've got a guessing game. The switch may wear out faster than you expect because of contact arcing. However it won't have any trouble carrying the running load, so it shouldn't overheat. At end of life it may arc between the contacts and sizzle and smoke, or it may simply quit (same behavior as with a resistive load, just may happen sooner). If you use both sides in parallel to switch one wire it will help a lot. Added: @Rick, it's rated at twelve volts because it's an automotive switch, not because it won't work at higher voltages. It's not going to have a problem below thirty volts. It's rated for a 300-watt load (probably resistive, but with information given we can't tell). Running at higher voltage and lower current will mean that it heats up less.