Are All Infinite Switches the Same? A Comprehensive Guide

Are All Infinite Switches the Same?

No, all infinite switches are not the same.

There are variations in control settings for different applications, such as domestic cooking and commercial cooking.

Additionally, there are different types of switches, including the series or current sensitive type and the parallel or voltage sensitive type.

The series type compensates for changes in temperature of the heating element, while the current sensitive type is specific to the nominal current of the heating element and cannot be used for applications with different power ratings.

Key Points:

  • Infinite switches vary in control settings for different applications, such as domestic and commercial cooking
  • Infinite switches can be classified into different types, including series and parallel types
  • The series type compensates for temperature changes in the heating element
  • The current sensitive type is specific to the nominal current of the heating element
  • The current sensitive type cannot be used for applications with different power ratings
  • The type of infinite switch used depends on the specific needs and requirements of the application

Did You Know?

1. Contrary to popular belief, not all infinite switches are the same. These switches, commonly found in stovetops, have different voltage ratings and current capacities based on the specific appliance they are designed for.

2. An interesting tidbit about infinite switches is that they were first patented back in 1932 by a man named Elmer Richardson. His invention revolutionized the control of heat in various electrical cooking appliances.

3. Did you know that infinite switches are also used in electric grills and electric frying pans? These switches provide precise control over the temperature settings, allowing users to cook food to perfection.

4. If you’ve ever wondered why they’re called “infinite” switches, it’s because they provide an infinite number of heat settings. This is achieved by using a bi-metallic strip that expands or contracts as the temperature changes, controlling the flow of electricity accordingly.

5. Some newer models of stovetops now feature digital infinite switches, which offer added convenience and precision. These electronic switches often include features like timers and pre-programmed cooking settings to make cooking even easier.

1. What Is An Infinite Switch?

An infinite switch, also known as a simmerstat, energy regulator, or infinite controller, is a type of switch used in electric stoves to allow variable power output of a heating element. It is a crucial component in controlling the temperature and cooking performance of electric stovetops.

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These switches utilize a bi-metallic strip conductive connection that disconnects with increased temperature.

The operation of an infinite switch is comparable to a slow pulse-width modulation device and is similar to a bimetallic switching thermostat. It is operated by a rotary hand control connected to a cam and follower, which controls the cycling of the contacts. The switches control the temperature by cycling the electric current to the heating elements.

This cycling allows for precise control over temperature, giving users the ability to:

  • Simmer
  • Boil
  • Cook at various heat levels

An infinite switch, also known as a simmerstat, energy regulator, or infinite controller, is a type of switch used in electric stoves to allow variable power output of a heating element. It is a crucial component in controlling the temperature and cooking performance of electric stovetops.

These switches utilize a bi-metallic strip conductive connection that disconnects with increased temperature.

2. Variations In Control Settings For Different Applications

Infinite switches provide varying control settings depending on the intended application. For domestic cooking appliances, the minimum setting typically has a 5% on time. On the other hand, commercial cooking appliances usually have a 22.5% on time at the minimum setting. This variation enables more precise temperature control in professional kitchens which often have higher cooking demands.

The control settings are also essential in adjusting the power output. With the rotary hand control, users can select the desired power level, ensuring optimal cooking results. The versatility of these switches allows the user to fine-tune the temperature according to the specific requirements of each dish.

3. Different Types Of Infinite Switches

There are various types of infinite switches available in the market, each designed to cater to specific needs and requirements. One common classification is based on whether the switch is series or parallel.

The series type infinite switch compensates for changes in temperature of the heating element. It adjusts the power output by varying the resistance in the circuit, allowing for temperature regulation. This type is specific to the nominal current of the heating element and cannot be used for applications with different power ratings.

On the other hand, the parallel type infinite switch functions based on the voltage across the heating element. It provides a fixed resistance in parallel with the heating element and allows for precise control over power output. This type offers flexibility in applications with variable power ratings.

  • Series type infinite switch compensates for changes in temperature of the heating element.
  • It adjusts power output by varying the resistance in the circuit, allowing for temperature regulation.
  • Specific to the nominal current of the heating element, cannot be used for applications with different power ratings.
  • Parallel type infinite switch functions based on the voltage across the heating element.
  • It provides a fixed resistance in parallel with the heating element.
  • Allows for precise control over power output.
  • Offers flexibility in applications with variable power ratings.

Note: Infinite switches in series and parallel types serve different purposes in regulating temperature and controlling power output.

4. Series And Parallel Types Of Infinite Switches

The series type infinite switch is designed to compensate for temperature changes in the controlled heating element. By adjusting the power input, it ensures that the selected temperature remains consistent. This compensation feature enables accurate and efficient temperature control. However, it is crucial to note that this type of switch is specially designed for the nominal current of the heating element and is not suitable for applications with different power ratings.

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On the other hand, the parallel type infinite switch operates by including a fixed resistance in parallel with the heating element. This arrangement provides precise control over power output. Unlike the series type, the parallel type switch is suitable for applications with variable power ratings. It can accommodate different heating elements and adjust accordingly.

5. Limitations And Considerations For Using Infinite Switches

While infinite switches offer great control and flexibility, there are limitations and considerations that need to be taken into account.

First, these switches are unsuitable for resistive loads over 15A at 240V or 3.6kW. Exceeding these limits can lead to overheating and potential damage to the switch.

Secondly, infinite switches have a reduced operating life when used with inductive loads. The arcing caused by the mechanical contacts erodes and accumulates power, which can lead to overheating. Therefore, it is important to ensure that the switch is compatible with the type of load being applied.

In conclusion, infinite switches play a crucial role in electric stoves, allowing for precise temperature control and optimal cooking performance. It is vital to understand the different variations in control settings and types of switches available to choose the right one for specific applications. By considering the limitations and making informed choices, users can effectively utilize infinite switches in their cooking appliances.



Frequently Asked Questions

Are infinite switches universal?

Yes, the Infinite Switch from Exact Replacement Parts can be considered universal as it serves as a replacement for various brands such as Whirlpool, GE, and Frigidaire. This versatile switch provides a convenient solution for those in need of a replacement, eliminating the need to search for brand-specific switches. Whether you own a Whirlpool, GE, or Frigidaire appliance, the Infinite Switch offers the compatibility and convenience required.

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How does a infinite switch work?

The infinite switch is a clever mechanism that enables control of an electric stovetop. Inside the switch, a bi-metal switch is used to regulate the flow of current. As the dial is turned, the switch is heated and begins to move. This movement controls the intervals at which the current is pulsed on and off, corresponding to the desired heat level. This innovative design allows for precise and adjustable temperature settings on an electric stovetop, providing convenience and flexibility for cooking.

Can you adjust an infinite switch?

Yes, infinite switches can be adjusted to control the duty cycle of the internal heating element and consequently the controlled load. By modifying the setting of the infinite switch, the timing and intensity of the heat output can be altered, similar to how one adjusts the temperature on a stove surface burner. This adjustment allows for greater control and flexibility in regulating the temperature and cooking process of the load being heated.

Do all switches work the same?

Switches are not created equal and their functionality can vary depending on the application. Different switches are designed to handle different loads and electrical currents. For instance, while a basic toggle switch may be sufficient for controlling lights or fans, larger electric motors require specialized switches capable of handling higher voltage and currents. Moreover, the positioning and design of the various switches can also differ, with some switches offering additional features like dimming or timers. Therefore, it is crucial to carefully select the appropriate switch based on the intended use to ensure optimal performance and safety.

In conclusion, switches do not work the same as each other as their capabilities and specifications differ according to the intended application. It is essential to understand the requirements of the electrical circuit in question before choosing a switch to guarantee proper functionality and compatibility.