Switch with three positions

Thread Starter

Vindhyachal Takniki

Joined Nov 3, 2014
1. I have to search for switch which has three positions: off, medium, high. Voltage is 220Vac & current is around 400mA.
Off means no connection to load, medium means connection to load via a diode in series & 220v ac main(half wave), & high means entire main connection to load.
2. I have found a switch from local market as in attached pdf. But it has four positions. It has total 10 pins on it. 5 on each side.
There is one common connection on each side, which make connection with other 4 terminals, as switch is toggled.
3. What do these switches called, are these Dual pole 4 throw?? I am looking for three position switch. i dont know what name to search for these switches? I need this kind of switch whose handle is on top as in attached pdf.



Joined Aug 1, 2013
Does the off position have to be at one end, or can you use a center-off toggle switch? The positions would be medium - off - high.



Joined Apr 24, 2011
They have various names. A slide switch such as you have would probably be called one pole three position or 1P3T. A similar toggle switch would be SPST On-off-on.

I took a peak at Digikey for "slide switches." they do list a few non stocked Arcoelectric switches that meet your criteria. If you can find one they should be under 3 bucks a piece.

Things don't get any better if you use an on-off-on toggle switch (center is off) type. These are also mostly non stock items but they do carry one for $4.54.


Joined Sep 17, 2013
What is the load you want to switch? If it's inductive (like a motor), then powering it with half-wave rectified mains voltage could let the magic smoke out.
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Joined Apr 24, 2011
While I prefer to derate things by a larger margin a 250 volt switch can handle 220 volts.

One obscure thing about switches is a high current switch such as yours may not work reliably for low currents, and they need a bit of current to literally burn off any oxide that forms at the point of contact. Your test jig may stop or go intermittent after a bit. Or not... Just wanted to mention this point just in case.