Battery Switch Guide
- April 22, 2022
Battery Switch Guide
What are battery switches?
Battery switches are specialty switches that prevent the starting of a vehicle. Battery disconnect switches are designed to cut-off electrical power and help manage the general use of electrical power on a vehicle. They disconnect the power circuit during maintenance and protect batteries from excessive drain during maintenance work. Installing a battery cut-off switch is usually done either for safety considerations or as an anti-theft precaution.
Why use a battery switch?
The primary purpose of the battery switch is to connect or disconnect electrical devices from the electrical system. Disconnecting the battery helps prevent the battery from draining when you are away from your car, boat, RV, or farm machinery for an extended period of time. It can also be used as an anti-theft measure.
How to select the type of battery disconnect switch?
- Maximum Current: 750A
- Rated Current: 250A
- 12V~24V DC
This type of battery disconnect switch got its name based on its unique shape. The model is made in the shape of a knife blade and is quite easy to use. It installs directly on the battery terminal and controls the electrical current produced by the battery. The installation is rather simple because the knife blade type can be mounted both vertically and horizontally. It comes in handy when there is a little clearance above the battery.
- Maximum Current: 500A
- Rated Current: 125A
- 12~24 V DC
- 15-17 mm cone
Knob-style battery disconnect switches are very common and popular among users. They have a switch or a knob that turns clockwise or anti-clockwise to provide or cut off power from the battery. This model is incredibly easy to use and proves to be an efficient anti-theft device. Knob-style battery disconnect switches come in either a top post or side post design and mount directly to a battery terminal. They are most commonly used in limited and tight spaces.
Keyed and Rotary
- ON/OFF or 1-2-Both-Off
- Maximum Current: 1000-1250A
- Rated Current: 200-275A
- 12~48V DC
This type of battery disconnect switch is mainly used in boats, RVs, and industrial and agricultural equipment, but can also be found in cars. They use keys or rotary switches to operate, which ensures more security. Once you turn the switch in the right position, you can lock it and take the keys with you. This is one of the best ways to keep your vehicle safe from theft, so this model is very popular. You just need to make an extra set of keys or be extra careful not to lose the one you have.
How to Install a Battery Disconnect Switch?
Step 1: Buy a new battery switch
When installing a battery switch, you need to pay very close attention to the actual switch that you buy. Look at your owner’s manual and find out the exact power output of your battery and other components. The battery disconnect switch you purchase should match this. Choosing a switch that is used, worn, or underrated can result in serious electrical problems or even fire.
Step 2: Remove cables from the battery
For your safety, you should first disconnect the positive and negative cables from the battery terminals. It’s also a good time to clean them up, so you know you have a good connection point.
Ps: battery positive terminal (usually red, marked with a “+” symbol, negative terminal (usually black, marked with a “-” sign).
Step 3: Remove the negative cable terminal
Once you have removed both cables, you need to remove the terminal from the negative end.
Step 4: Wire in switch
After removing the terminal, you can install the switch. Wire it between the cable and the battery terminal so that the switch breaks the connection to the battery when it is turned off. Make sure when you add the switch that you install it in the “On” position.
Step 5: Reconnect terminal
When the battery switch is connected to the end of the battery cable, you can reconnect the terminal.
Step 6: Connect the battery switch to the frame
Mark the position of the screw holes in the battery switch housing with a marker. Drill holes and ensure that any extrusions that remain are removed. Line up the battery switch holes with the slots you drilled and fasten them with the provided screws.
Step 7: Connect the battery cables
Once you have all the wires connected and the switch installed, you can now reconnect the battery cables to the battery poles. Feel free to test the switch at this time by turning on your car or boat and activating the switch. If the engine of the car and boat shuts down as expected, it will work perfectly. Otherwise, you need to turn off the kill switch and check the cable connection.
Want to know more about battery switch products?
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