Leviton 6W Rotary Power Switch Review

Leviton 6W Rotary Power Switch Review

Buy it at Amazon: Leviton 6W Rotary Power Switch [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Simple to install, quick repair/replacement, works as advertised.

This power switch is made of plastic and measures 1-1/4”L x 5/8”W x ½”H. It has a scroll wheel on it that turns in one direction to switch power on or off, which can be manipulated from either side. On the front side you’ll see a single flat head screw, and on the back is the nut that holds it in place. On the left and right sides are openings for the power cord to feed out of. What this device does is allows you to add a power switch to any device with a two prong power cord which may not already have an on/off switch. I added this switch to my dehydrator which simply turns on when I plug it in, but I want to be able to switch it off without pulling the plug, allowing me to keep the unit plugged in even if I’m not using it.

Before we get started, make sure you use a switch that can handle the power usage rating for your device. This switch is rated for 6A 125V, 3A 125V, and 3A 250V. Since my dehydrator is a 700Watt device at 120V, it’ll draw about 6A (calculation: 700/120 ~ 5.8), so this switch should work for me. Note too that the cord size should be No. 18-2 AWG SPT-1 with a .215” max outside diameter and parallel sire configuration. That is, a two prong plug only with a smallish wire gauge.

First you’ll need to open up the switch by removing the screw with a flat head screwdriver. One half will be hollow and the other contains the screw and rotary wheel. Also, be sure not to lose the nut if it falls out the back. Next, select the spot on your power cord where you’ll install the switch. You’re going to need a sharp knife or razor blade to split the wires apart, so let me put a cutting board under it. Then very carefully cut a slit 5/8” wide between the wires, being careful not to cut into the insulation and exposing any copper wire. Now, check the sides of your power cord. One side should be smooth (indicating hot), and the opposite side should be ribbed (neutral) with a ridge running across it. If you’re having trouble, remember that with a polarized plug, the wide or fat blade corresponds to the ribbed or neutral side, and the smaller, narrower blade is on the smooth or hot side. We’re going to want to cut the smooth cord at the middle of the slit you made.

Now, take the hollow half of the switch and note which side has a small wall dividing left and right in the center, and place your cord into the compartment with the cut wire on the side with the divider. Then, in the top half, you’ll see these copper spikes on either side of the wheel. These will pierce the insulation on your cut wire and allow you to bridge that connection using the switch. Place the cover piece over your wire and line up the posts in the corners. Then place the nut back into the hole on the back, if it’s fallen out. Finally, tighten the screw using the flathead screw driver to clamp the two pieces back together.

After installing this switch, when I plug the unit in, it doesn’t turn on right away. Instead, I have to turn the rotary switch ot the on position first before it starts to run. Now I can also switch it off easily using the switch without unplugging it. The only thing that I didn’t like was that there weren’t any markings indicating on or off, so I marked the switch with permanent marker in order to tell the difference when plugging the device in. I also drew arrows to indicate which direction to turn the wheel. Otherwise, the switch works perfectly for my needs and was really easy to install.

Buy it at Amazon: Leviton 6W Rotary Power Switch [Affiliate Link]

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