What Is an Air Pressure Switch?

An air pressure switch is a widely used mechanical device that is found in all electrical models. For example, in order to control an electric air compressor’s operation, air pressure switches are used. The air pressure circuit mechanism of the switch provides power to the motor, allowing it to function. The switch is also equipped with a pressure switch relief valve that enables the machine to have an easier start by relieving head and line pressure. There are a number of different types of air pressure switches available, each distinguished by their working features.

The one aspect that remains the same for all switches is their basic operation. When an air compressor is plugged in, an operator can move the level to auto position. As a result of this action, the motor starts, and the compressor is pressurized. This process produces a pressure system that forces the diaphragm inside the device to stop the motor by breaking the circuit. At the same time, back pressure is released via the pressure relief valve, eventually reaching a specific level. Then, the motor starts up again once the contacts close. This process is continuous while the air compressor is in use.

Air pressure switches are found in a variety of industries, measuring the rise and fall temperature of a system in order to provide electrical feedback. Beyond being implemented in compressed air systems, some of the other most common systems that utilize air pressure switches include HVAC equipment, process equipment, and pumping systems.

HVAC Equipment

HVAC equipment provides heating and cooling features that are needed in residential and commercial buildings. Pressure switches are used in HVAC equipment for safety purposes, helping them detect maximum and minimum set points. For example, this feature is used in air conditioning systems, allowing the system to start or stop when it reaches a setpoint level.

Process Equipment

Within manufacturing industries and industrial control systems, air pressure switches offer increased efficiency by providing consistent gas and fluid supply to systems that are continuously working.

Pumping Systems

Air pressure ensures a constant water level within pumps. A pressure switch activates or deactivates the water pump when it reaches a predetermined level.

Testing an Air Pressure Switch

To ensure that your system is working properly and your switch is in optimal condition, there are a few steps one can follow. You must begin by disconnecting any power source connected to the switch which usually consists of unplugging a breaker. Next, utilize a screwdriver to remove the switch cover and remove the center screw. At this point, you should see blue or brown wires that run from the switch to the terminal block. Only cut these wires. The black and white wires should be left alone. Then, you must provide pressure to the switch by utilizing pressure-producing sources. Place an ohm meter lead on the loose wires and close the switch as pressure is being applied. When the ohm meter displays zero ohms, the switch will close, indicating that the air pressure is optimal. Finally, the pressure switch can be adjusted by using a set-point screw.


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