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How to Match Switches With Boots

Sealing Boots

When working with electrical equipment, it is critical that the components be protected from contaminants and harsh environmental conditions.

This is why APM Hexseal originally developed and patented the first sealing boots on the market, designed to shield electrical components from the incursion of unwanted moisture, pollutants, and other factors that could harm sensitive electrical components. In order to meet the needs of a comprehensive array of applications, APM Hexseal has since engineered a variety of sealing solutions in a wide range of sizes, shapes, and functions.

Switches are a particularly crucial aspect of an electrical system and are often the component most exposed to compromising conditions.

Switches must be readily accessible since they are used to initiate, regulate or disconnect the flow of electricity through a system. This often results in design compromises that place switches in unprotected environments. Choosing an ideal sealing boot to fit your switches will help protect your equipment from unwanted environmental influences and contamination.

Type of Switch & Dimensional Values

In order to select the right boot for your switch, it is important to first consider the function and dimensions of the switch itself.

Types of Sealing Boots InfographicToggles

Toggles come in numerous designs, shapes, and sizes, and are often used for simple on/off functions. A toggle switch operates in two positions—connected and disconnected—often through the use of a handle or lever. To select the appropriate sealing boot for a toggle, it is especially important to consider the overall dimensions, lever motion, and thread size of the toggle switch.

Push Buttons

A push button switch controls the flow of electricity through a button connected to an internal spring mechanism. Measure the diameter, thread size, and necessary actuation force to choose the right sealing solution for a push button switch.

Rotaries

Rotary switches are operated using a turning motion. These switches are often used for switches that require more than two operating positions. To choose the correct boot for a rotary switch, consider the diameter, thread size, and functional requirements of the switch.

Rockers

Rocker switches are similar to toggle switches in that they are used for on/off functions. The primary difference is that they use a flat rocker design rather than a lever or handle to operate the switch. They are often found on computer equipment and in modern light switch designs. To ensure the proper boot for a rocker switch, take accurate measurements of the rocker and its operational movement.

Circuit Breakers

Circuit breakers are designed to switch automatically to the off position when excess current is detected. They are available in a wide variety of styles and configurations, so it is important to obtain precise measurements when selecting the best boot for your circuit breaker.

Switch Application and Frequency of Use

In addition to analyzing the design and dimensions of the switch, it is essential to take into account the exact application and frequency of use. High-use switches with a wide range of motion may necessitate a more durable or flexible boot material (elastomer).

Depending on the application, equipment may be exposed to harsh conditions, including:

  • Corrosive chemicals
  • Extreme temperatures
  • Moisture
  • Saltwater
  • UV radiation

It is important to have a thorough understanding of the elements to which the boot will be exposed to determine the best material. For example, a standard silicone boot may be ideal for frequent outdoor use due to its high durability and flexible nature, but would not withstand long-term exposure to certain corrosive chemicals or saltwater.

Sealing boots can be customized to fit the needs of a wide range of applications. The material, size, shape, and even color can be tailored to protect your switches while enabling the highest degree of operability.

Switch Samples and Durometer Testing

At APM Hexseal, we are dedicated to ensuring that you have the right boot for your switch. Our experienced and knowledgeable staff will take into account the physical requirements of your application and use switch samples to ensure ideal protection and switch operation. With durometer testing, we ascertain the perfect material thickness, flexibility, and strength for each individual switch, so our customers know they are getting the best boot available.

Installation Details

It is important to consider the way the switch will be mounted to ensure adequate fit and function of the protective boot. The thickness of the surrounding panel, wiring, and dimensions all come into play. A thin panel, for example, requires a different style of installation to prevent the boot from interfering with the internal operations of the switch and surrounding equipment.

Sealing Boots From APM Hexseal

For over 70 years, APM Hexseal has been an innovative designer of superior sealing solutions. Our patented sealing boot design established an industry standard, and we have been improving and enhancing our designs ever since. APM Hexseal’s sealing boots and bushing seals provide reliable protection for both external and internal electrical components to ensure safe and dependable system operation.

For more information on our full product line of sealing boots and bushing seals, ask the experts at APM Hexseal today.

Ever better.