Delta Lathe switch

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New User
Dan Bowen
The plastic on/off switch on my old Delta 1440 finally broke. I've seen that other users have replaced with what looks like a common light switch. Went down to big box store and got a 20 amp switch and box....problems... if you plug it in with it "on" it works fine....if you try to use switch to turn on/ off it pops breaker:dontknow:. Any ideas ...I have a limited knowledge of electricity so I really don't like messing with it . Any help will be greatly appreciated


Corporate Member
Without looking at it would be impossible to say.
Most switches control only one conductor. The other is straight run. If you wired both wires to the switch that would do it.
Would be best to find someone to help you.

Alan in Little Washington

New User
Alan Schaffter
Typically the contacts on a standard wall switch (ever since mercury switches were outlawed) are not rated for induction motors like that on your lathe. The reason for this is many-fold. While the amperage rating may seem ok, wall switches are normally only rated for "resistive loads" (lights, heaters, TV's stereos, appliances, universal motors, etc.) . They may not be rated or have a much lower rating for "inductive loads" (induction motors, etc.). The contacts in a wall switch are usually are not as robust, have cheaper, less durable metal, weaker springs that do not open and close quickly and firmly as those required for an induction motor. Induction motors will draw current well in excess of the normal rating on start up AND shut down- that can cause significant arcing with the wrong kind of switch and that can lead to fused or carboned contacts and possible fire. Depending on the motor and switch ratings and how it is operated a wall switch may operate fine for awhile, but you are asking for trouble. Mechanical and magnetic switches suitable for induction motors can be purchased from most machine manufacturers, electrical supply houses, Woodcraft, Grizzly, etc.
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