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 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.