Contactors/Starters/Overload Relays & Accessories
KRAUS & NAIMER
LS INDUSTRIAL SYSTEMS
SPRECHER & SCHUH
Contactors and Starters are often grouped together because they both control electric motors and have identical mechanical elements: Coil, contacts and arc chutes.
An easy way to remember the difference is that a Contactor is really just an overgrown relay. It is an electrically controlled switch used for switching current on and off in a circuit. The Contactor applies voltage to a contactor coil to close the contacts and either supply or interrupt power in a circuit.
A Starter, or Motor Starter, is a Contactor with the addition of an overload relay which is rated by motor HP or amperage. The purpose of the overload is to protect the motor from load surges by shutting it down to prevent overheating.
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