: Switch current handling question

Nov 25th, 2009, 02:39 PM
So I am trying to replace a rocker switch on a small heating unit. Original switch is rated at 16 Amp 120 Volt.

Locally I can find a switch rated at 20 Amp 12 Volt. It will fit the hole but obviously I will have to cap the lead to the light on the switch.

Will this switch handle 13 Amps at 120 Volts? !3 Amps is the actual load.

Lichen Software
Nov 25th, 2009, 03:27 PM
First switch*handles:

16 amps x 120 Volts = 1920 watts

Second switch handles:

20 Amps X 12 volts = 240 watts

Even at measure the first switch actually handles:

13 amps x 120 volts = 1560 watts

In perspective, your 15 amp circuit in your house is really designed for 1500 watts and is allowed 12 plugs or lights. there is a safety factor. The switch you want to use handles 2 1/2 lights.

There are probably other things there such as designed for AC versus DC, heat load etc.

Off hand it does not sound like a happy replacement.

Nov 25th, 2009, 04:03 PM
No, it's not rated for 120v. Find one rated 120v or 240v.

Nov 25th, 2009, 06:46 PM
No, it's not rated for 120v. Find one rated 120v or 240v.

Ah so easy to say when one lives in a major population centre.:D I shall see what I can find on my next trip to the big city.:eek: