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Wiring a Switch to Battery Power Sources

By Dave Rongey - Summary:

How to Wire a Switch to Battery Power Sources: You will need to select and size the switches and relay according to the voltage and amperage, or in this case mili-amps or watts of the circuit load.

Switch Wiring for Battery Power

Electrical Question: I am running batteries to 2 different devices. I want to put them on 1 switch. Is that an issue? I will give you the run down.

  • Item A uses a 6xAA pack to power it
  • Item B uses a 2 x AA pack to charge it

Currently, I have the black line (neg) going from the 6 batteries to the switch then to item A. The red line (positive) goes from Item A to the batteries.

  • I would like to run the black line from the 2xaa pack to the same switch then to item B and the red going straight to item B.

Is mixing the two sets of 6 and 2 going to cause me a problem? might it give too much juice to item B? Will that mean essentially 8 x AA will be going to both items? or will the power split correctly? I am really after being able to switch both items on with the same switch. Any ideas?



This electrical wiring question came from: Jeff, a Homeowner from Watford, UK.
See more about Home Wiring in the UK

Additional Comments: Looks like a great website. Very informative I have bookmarked it already

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Jeff.
Hi Jeff, Thanks very much for bookmarking the website!

How to Wire a Switch to Battery Power Sources

Jeff, consider the following possibilities for Switching Battery Power:

  • Use a two-pole single-throw switch where you can wire the either one or two power sources through theĀ  switch however you will be able to maintain separation between the two power sources and the two separate devices that you are sending power to.
  • This can also be done using a two-pole single-throw relay that is controller by one single pole switch. The relay will function just like the two-pole switch. Keep in mind that the relay coil will consume a little power which would drain the battery power, depending on the size of the circuit load and the size of the relay.
  • With the examples above, you will need to select and size the switches and relay according to the voltage and amperage, or in this case mili-amps or watts of the circuit load.

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2 Responses to “Wiring a Switch to Battery Power Sources”
  1. Bruce Ressler says:

    For the question “Wiring a Switch to Battery Power Sources”, the correct answer is “Yes, he can power two items from two battery packs with the scheme he described (single pole switch).” Just don’t connect the two red wires together.


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