3 Different Types of AC Isolator Switches You Need to Know About

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Are you looking for ways to ensure the safety of your electrical system? An AC isolator switch is the perfect solution and you can still have different options and designs to choose from.

There are three main types of AC isolator switches: rotary, rocker, and push button. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at each type and discuss its various designs, and then we will discuss the use of dimmers with isolator switches.

1. Toggle Type

3 Different Types of AC Isolator Switches You Need to Know About
Source: professional-electrician.com

Toggle AC isolator switches are among the most commonly used models in commercial and residential applications. These switches have a toggle handle that is pushed up or down to turn off and on the power supply. They feature a visible on/off indicator, which allows users to easily identify the switch position at a glance. The toggle type switch can be mounted in any position (up/down/horizontal) depending on the requirements of the user.

They are available in a variety of sizes and ratings, including single-pole and three-pole designs, which allow for different types of switching. They are designed with an integrated fuse holder and safety cover, which ensure that all connections are secure and protected. As a result, these switches are suitable for use in hazardous locations where there is a risk of accidental contact with energized parts.

For example, Eaton’s Crouse-Hinds series of toggle-type AC isolator switches have been designed to meet both UL and IEC standards, ensuring that they meet the highest safety requirements. These switches are available in 30A, 60A, and 125A ratings, making them suitable for a wide range of applications. They feature a wide range of accessories as well including padlocking devices and illuminated operating handles which further enhance their safety capabilities.

2. Rocker Type

3 Different Types of AC Isolator Switches You Need to Know About
Source: amazon.com

The rocker type is easy to operate as they require a simple upward or downward movement of the rocker switch to turn the power on or off. The rocker-type switch is mounted directly on the AC isolator switch, which makes installation and maintenance very easy.

Rocker switches are especially popular in households due to their small size, convenience, and affordability. Their small size allows them to fit easily onto most electrical control panels. The rocker switch may have a label indicating whether the power is on or off. This makes it easy to identify the switch’s current state without having to open the cover of the switch.

In terms of safety, the rocker AC isolator switch offers excellent protection against electric shock. Since it is mounted directly on the isolator switch, any attempts to tamper with the switch will be quickly detected. Also, since the switch can be easily identified from its label, it’s much easier to turn off in case of an emergency.

Rocker-type AC isolator switches are widely available from companies such as Schneider Electric, Square D, and ABB. Specifically, Schneider Electric offers their 4-Pole, 63A Rocker Switch which has a rugged construction and is perfect for industrial use. Another example is Square D’s Vigi iDPN Rocker Switch which is a great choice for domestic and commercial settings. ABB also offers a range of high-quality rocker switches, such as their J100 Series for industrial applications.

3. Push Button Type

3 Different Types of AC Isolator Switches You Need to Know About
Source: amazon.com

This type is a great choice for applications that require more frequent access to the electrical circuit. They feature a large button in the center of the switch which is pushed down to connect the circuit and released to disconnect it. This type of AC isolator switch is extremely user-friendly and convenient, as it allows for easy access to the electrical circuit without having to flip a toggle or rocker switch.

One of the most popular examples of push-button AC isolator switches is the ABB Isolator Switch. This unit has a durable, plastic construction and can be mounted on walls or panels with a simple screw connection. The push button mechanism has two positions, allowing it to act as an emergency stop in addition to an isolator switch.

For applications that require even more convenience and user-friendliness, an AC isolator switch can be equipped with key-operated mechanisms. These units use a special key to switch between on and off positions, providing additional security for applications where unauthorized access needs to be prevented. They have a single-pole design, meaning only one side of the switch needs to be wired in order to connect the circuit.

AC isolator switch with dimmers

3 Different Types of AC Isolator Switches You Need to Know About
Source: electricpoint.com

You may be wondering if you can install a light dimmer with the switch. The short answer is yes; you can install a light dimmer with an AC isolator switch. However, there are some important points to consider before doing so.

First, not all dimmers are compatible with all AC isolator switches. For instance, some toggle-type AC isolator switches are not compatible with certain dimmers. It is important to do your research and make sure you are using the correct components.

Second, different types of dimmers require different wiring configurations. Depending on the model of your AC isolator switch, the wiring configuration of your dimmer may need to be modified. For example, some models of rocker-type AC isolator switches require two separate wires for the dimmer – one for the neutral and one for the live wire.

Third, when installing a dimmer with an AC isolator switch, make sure you are following the manufacturer’s instructions and that you have the correct voltage and wattage ratings for your application. If you are unsure about any of these points, it is best to consult an electrician or another qualified professional before attempting to install a dimmer with an AC isolator switch.

In conclusion, while it is possible to install a light dimmer with an AC isolator switch, it is important to do your research and make sure that the components you are using are compatible. Furthermore, when installing a dimmer with an AC isolator switch, make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions and that the voltage and wattage ratings are correct for your application.


Whether you’re looking for a toggle, rocker, or push button type of AC isolator switch, there’s an option out there that will fit your needs, personal preferences, or security criteria. With the right design and installation, these switches can help you manage power and keep your AC systems running at their peak performance. If using dimmers, be sure to check their compatibility with AC isolator switches; they will add extra conveniences and style to any modern property.