Eight Things to Consider When Selecting a Company Switch

There are a number of options to consider when selecting and installing a company switch. Below is a list of 8 key items to answer before purchasing your unit.

1. What is the incoming wire size to be accommodated?
It is important to match the incoming wire size; you don’t want to have lugs on the company switch that are too small to accept the feed wires available at the installation. Make sure to indicate where the conduit will enter the enclosure.

2. Is 200% neutral required?
If unbalanced power is a problem, then an oversized neutral can be specified. If the company switch will be feeding more than one set of equipment, dual neutrals may be necessary. Depending on the amperage, there could be six cam-lock receptacles instead of five.

3. Is isolated ground required?
If the company switch will feed a sound system it is common to isolate the ground from the equipment ground in order to provide a noise-free ground return. If this is the case, an isolated ground is recommended.

4. Are direct-wire lugs needed?
If the equipment that is to be connected to the company switch does not have cam connectors available, direct-wire lugs will allow bare-wire ends to be connected.

5. Is a digital ammeter required?
An ammeter will allow quick and easy reading of the current being drawn through the company switch at a given time.

6. Is an interior work light required?
This option is very useful in dark theater environments, providing a lit chamber makes for easier connections.

7. Will the switch be inside (NEMA Type 1 enclosure) or outside (NEMA 3R enclosure)?
Standard ESL company switches are NEMA Type 1 however, if your unit will be installed outside, NEMA 3R should be specified.

8. Will the company switch use an electrical interlock or a mechanical interlock?
A mechanical interlock is more reliable; an electrical interlock can fail and expose live parts, while a mechanical interlock is a rock-solid way to ensure power is off to the company switch.

Interested in learning about ESL Company Switch features? Watch our ShowSwitch – Company Switch video here!

ESL Power Systems would be happy to discuss these options with you and ensure you get the right company switch for your venue! Contact us at 1-800-922-4188 or info@eslpwr.com for more information.

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