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Single Pole vs Double Pole Switches

When you think of remodelling your house or taking up a new project, you plan everything; from smart blinds and new electronics to stylish art pieces to go with your entire interior decor. However, we often tend to overlook the electrical switches. These switches vary based on their style, finish, and functionality. Though they may all appear the same on the outside, the various switches look and function differently on the inside.

Commonly used as light switches in your household, all electrical switches can practically turn on and off any electronic device. We categorise switches as single-pole (SP) or double pole (DP) switches based on their working mechanism and functionality.

A Single Pole (SP) Switch

An SP switch is the most basic general-purpose switch that you use to control a light or another device from one location. These switches have two brass-coloured screw terminals connected to the hot power-source wires. One terminal functions as the incoming wire from the power source, and the other functions as the outgoing one to the fixture. Most SP switches also have a ground terminal to connect the circuit’s ground wire. As a general rule, you do connect the neutral wires to switches. If neutrals are present in the box, you join them to pass through the box without touching the switch.

A Double Pole (DP) Switch

DP switch is generally used in industrial applications but can also be found in specific home wiring systems. The significant difference between an SP switch and a DP switch is that the latter has four brass terminals instead of two, with an additional ground terminal usually not found in SP switches. The two terminals make it possible to connect two pairs of wires from a 240-volt circuit. DP switches are typically considered for 30 amps, allowing them to control power feeding higher-demand appliances and machinery.

Advantages of a DP Switch over an SP Switch

Apart from accepting two pairs of hot wires, a DP switch is different from an SP switch in another essential manner. DP switches are rated for higher currents. The higher rating indicates that a DP switch has larger terminals to adjust thicker wires.

Though the wiring in both the switches is essentially the same, you should ensure that the red and black wires are on two sides. Mixing them can be dangerous or may even lead to dysfunctional switches.

Choosing the right switch for your needs

For most general applications, a standard SP switch perfectly does the job. For instance, if you need a switch to operate a light or fan, a single switch works best. On the other hand, for running devices at two locations, you would need a DP switch. Moreover, for a 120V power supply, you only need an SP switch. In contrast, if you want to control a demanding electrical device, a DP switch is what you require.

The commonly overlooked electrical switches are critical components of your power management system. And when we talk about efficient energy and power management devices, Schneider Electric India’s switches shine through. Their wide range of products has innovative features like natural materials and weatherproof sockets that play critical roles in better control, smooth functionality, and electrical protection of your home environment.

So wait no more and revamp your interiors with Schneider Electric India’s limit switches, light switches and electrical sockets, devised to fit every interior and exterior design seamlessly.


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