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Pressure switches are electrical components that sense changes in liquid and/or gas pressure and react with a preprogrammed response. Specifically, they open or close when activated at certain pressure points, or actuation points, or in other words, when pressure reaches a predetermined level, whether it be rising or falling, on their input. Usually, the response garnered by a pressure switch is automatic, but sometimes it must be opened or closed manually, only after the switch has alerted attendants to the pressure change with an alarm or another signal.

Pressure switches can sense pressure with the assistance of a variety of mechanisms, such as piezoresistive pressure sensors, elastomeric diaphragms, and pressure transducers. Piezoresistive pressure sensors are commonly employed by electric pressure switches; electric switches use them by converting the pressure level they sense into an electrical signal that can be read on a digital display.

Next, elastomeric diaphragms are highly flexible barrier membranes, made from elastic polymers; they are adhered to an enclosure, allowing pressure, but not fluid, to flow to the other side to be sensed. Usually, elastomeric diaphragms actuate mechanical pressure valves or switches. Finally, pressure transducers act as sensors; they sense pressure and then emit a signal. Frequently, they work in conjunction with display meters to make interpretation easier. Read More…

Leading Manufacturers

Tecmark Corporation

Mentor, OH | 440-205-7600

KECO Engineered Controls

Lakewood, NJ | 732-901-5900

Solon Manufacturing Co.

Chardon, OH | 800-323-9717

Barksdale, Inc.

Los Angeles, CA | 800-835-1060

ARCO Engineering

Louisville, KY | 502-966-3134

There are a number of different types of pressure switches, a few of which were mentioned above. Some of the prominent pressure switch varieties are hydraulic pressure switches, pneumatic pressure switches, high pressure switches, and low pressure switches. All pressure switches can be defined by whether they are hydraulic or pneumatic. Simply put, hydraulic pressure switches deal with liquid pressure, while pneumatic, or air, pressure switches deal with gas pressure.

Common applications of hydraulic pressure switches include temperature regulation in pools and a number of automobile system functions, such as those of engine warning lights, brake lights, dust control systems, torque converters, automatic transmission, and locking mechanisms. Applications associated with pneumatic pressure switches, on the other hand, include the regulation of gas compressors, the charging of batteries, the activation and deactivation of gas pumps, and the switching on and off of alarm lights in aircraft cockpits and cabins. High pressure switches and low pressure switches each serve applications at different ends of the pressure level spectrum.

Other varieties of the pressure switch, all serving semi-specific purposes, include: oil pressure switches, water pressure switches, well pump switches, air compressor switches, differential pressure switches, furnace switches, ultrasonic level switches, displacer level switches, and vacuum switches. First, the purpose of oil pressure switches is to monitor the oil pressure of a car engine and to signal the driver when said pressure has gotten low.

Second, water pressure switches regulate water pressure by increasing flow when it has dropped down below an acceptable pressure level, and halting flow when it has reached its ideal pressure level. Well pump pressure switches do the exact same thing, but they are made specifically to regulate water well systems. Next, air compressor switches are paired with compressor systems, where they alert the system of when it needs more pressure, when it has the right amount of pressure, and when it does not have enough air to complete the suction stage.

Differential pressure switches are used to balance the differential pressure between a cavity and an open atmosphere, like, for example the difference in pressure between an airplane cabin and the air outside of the airplane. There are a number of different furnace pressure switches, and all serve either by tracking a furnace’s fresh air supply or by making sure it has an adequate fuel supply at all times. Now, ultrasonic level switches are impervious to significant changes in temperature and pressure and have no moving parts.

Therefore, they are the perfect pressure switch for applications involving sediment and tanks that store mass amounts of liquid. Displacer level switches, valued as economical, reliable, and easy to adjust, use displacement and a set point to maintain the level of liquids in a sump. Finally, vacuum switches respond to changes in negative pressure in order to help regulate the pressure between two closed cavities.

Pressure switches can be found in the home and on space stations, where they provide invaluable flow pressure regulation. They are an asset to many applications, such as automotive operation, process manufacturing, petrochemical distribution, wastewater cleanup, and the operation of pipelines, panels, pumps, turbines, generators, compressors, off-road equipment, furnaces, blowers, filters and more.

Those interested in their purchase may choose from materials such as cast aluminum, acetal, glass reinforced polyester, plated steel, polycarbonate, and polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Pressure switches all have a least one point of pressure, or actuation point, but they are not limited, and may have several. In addition, manufacturers offer switches with unalterable, factory-set pressure points as well as switches with adjustable pressure points. Reliable and effective, pressure switches can make the difference between success and failure and safety and danger.

Pressure Switches Informational Video