Monday, May 25, 2009

Safety Cords ~ Fire Shield Cords

Fire Shield is a next generation extension cord with built-in intelligence to sense cord damage and shut off the power before a fire can start.  No other extension cord has this capability.

Industry statistics indicate there is a cord fire approximately every 6 minutes.  The most frequent causes of such fires are short circuits, overloading, damage, and/or misuse of extension cords.

A special shield surrounds each of the insulated conductors of the Fire Shield Extension Cord.  The shield is continuously monitored by electronics in the plug head.  When a dangerous electrical condition is detected by current leaking to the shield, power is shut off before a fire can start.

Fire Shield differ from GFCI's and ground conductors. Grounded conductors only provide a path to ground. GFCI’s detect ground faults.  Neither detects the breakdown in the insulation of a standard extension cord, which can lead to an arcing condition that may start a fire.  By utilizing a sensing shield around the insulated Fire Shield conductors combined with intelligent electronics in the plug head, Fire Shield can detect damage in the cord such as series faults (broken and frayed conductors) and parallel faults (insulation damage between the live conductors), and shut off the power before a fire can start.

Unintentional misuse of extension cords is the main reason for cord fires.  Cords may be crimped, pinched, frayed, overloaded, overheated, or just worn out.  Any of these conditions can lead to an extension cord fire.  Fire Shield can detect any leakage currents from these conditions and shut off power before a fire can occur.

The cord fire protection is a function of the special shield and relates to the Fire Shield extension cord only.

Fire Shiled should be used anywhere you use standard extension cords or power strips; in children’s rooms, pet areas, with space heaters, electric blankets, waterbeds, etc.  Children and pets have been known to bite or chew electrical cords.  Fire Shield, with its built-in intelligence may provide protection in these circumstances.   Fire Shield Safety Extension Cords should also be used during the holidays with Christmas trees and other holiday decorations because of the tendency to overload extension cords.

Standard surge protectors only provide protection against power surges, which is important.  However, standard surge protectors do not provide cord fire prevention.   TRC has recently introduced a next generation line of Fire Shield Surge Protectors that not only protects against power surges, but also provides cord fire prevention.

Fire Shield cords are now required at many colleges as the only power strip allowed in college dorms.  This is due to students overloading the strips, or tacking the cords to walls or pinching the cords between doors or around corners.  All these issues can and will cause fires.

Fire Shield cords are patented and UL/CSA approved.

Sords Electric


Saturday, May 23, 2009

Temperature Switches ~ Mechanical ~ bi-metal

Sords Electric sells Temperature Swtiches.

Temperature Switches are designed to work in two different ways, bi-metal switches and thermal expansion.
both of these methods require no electrical power for the switch to sense temperature and mechanically actuate the switch mechanism. Of course power has to b present to actually be switched.

A bi-metal switch uses two dis-similar metals. Metallic objects expand and contract when heated and cooled, by attaching or fusing or combining two different metals together, they will expand or contract, or bend or otherwise cause a movement that can be used to make a switch contact. By restricting the movement with a spring or tension, the switch can be "set' for desired temperatures. The switch can be calibrated at the factory or by the user.

A thermal expansion switch uses a liquid/gas filler that will expand and move a plunger that will actuate the switch.
A liquid is stored in the "bulb" of the switch and when heated will boil and turn to gas and expand. The expansion will move up the capillary and create pressure to actuate the switch mechanism. As with bi-metal switches these switches ca be calibrated by the users to actuate at different set points. Also, thermal expansion switches can have two or more set points by use of two or more switches.

A few examples of temperature switches that use this technology are the thermostats in cars to allow coolant to flow, and the old style round house thermostats that used bi-metal and mercury to make the switching. Most over temperature safety switches found in appliances are bi-metal switches as they can be small and inexpensive. This Style of switch is factory set to a certain temperature. Some of these switches can have a manual reset mechanism and some will reset when they cool to a lower temperature.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Solid State Relays ~ Fast switching

Gavazzi SSR single phase

Sords Electric sells Solid State Relays (SSR) by Carlo Gavazzi.

A Solid State relay( SSR ) is an electrical switch that opens and closes under the control of another electrical circuit. A solid state relay( SSR ) is a solid state electronic component that provides a similar function to an electromechanical relay but does not have any moving components, increasing long-term reliability. With early SSR's, the tradeoff came from the fact that every transistor has a small voltage drop across it. This voltage drop limited the amount of current a given SSR could handle. As transistors improved, higher current SSR's, able to handle 100 to 1,200 amps, have become commercially available.
Gavazzi SSR with Heatsink
A solid state contactor is a very heavy-duty solid state relay, including the necessary heat sink, used for switching electric heaters, small electric motors and lighting loads; where frequent on/off cycles are required. There are no moving parts to wear out and there is no contact bounce due to vibration. They are activated by AC control signals or DC control signals from Programmable logic controller (PLCs), PCs, Transistor-transistor logic (TTL) sources, or other microprocessor and microcontroller controls.

Solid-state relays ( SSR's ) control load currents through solid-state switches such as triacs, SCRs, or power transistors. These elements are controlled by input signals coupled to the switched devices through isolation mechanisms such as transformers, reed relays, or optoisolators. Some solid-state relays also incorporate snubber circuits or zero-crossing detectors to reduce spikes and transients generated by interrupting load current. Since semiconductor switches can dissipate significant amounts of power, solid-state relays must generally be heat sinked to minimize operating temperature.

SSRs generate heat because of the voltage drop present in all semiconductor devices. A 40-A relay, for example, typically drops 1.2 V during conduction and, thus, dissipates 50 W of heat. However, SSR heat generation generally does not require special system design. These devices usually mount on circuit boards or control panels containing other semiconductor devices. Cooling and heat-sinking methods used for these devices are likely to be adequate for the SSR.

Some SSRs designed for controlling ac loads incorporate a zero-voltage turn-on circuit that switches the load on or off only when the power-line sine wave passes through zero. Highly capacitive loads such as lamps and heaters which produce high inrush currents at turn on generate little electromagnetic interference if actuated when line voltage is zero. However, inductive loads such as motors and transformers can saturate during the first half cycle after turn on and produce maximum interference when switched on as line voltage passes through zero. Zero-voltage switches should not be used.

Carlo Gavazzi offers a comprehensive range of solid state relays (SSR’s) featuring direct copper bonding technology for increased life and reliability. SSR’s are used extensively in the plastics, packaging, food processing, and HVAC industries - primarily for temperature control. They are the logical replacement for mercury contactors.

Other applications include lighting and pump switching. Furthermore, many of our relays feature horsepower ratings making them suitable for controlling motorized dampers in HVAC control systems - where their long life and noise-free switching make them ideal replacements for mechanical contactors.

Carlo Gavazzi's range includes single phase relays up to 125 amps and 3 phase relays up to 75 amps. They are available with both digital and analogue inputs (4-20 mA or 0-10 V) Furthermore, we also offer a complete range of SSR's with a built-in heatsink.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Industrial Mats ~ Control, Safety, heated and Cable mats

Sords Electric carries many styles of industrial mats.

Mats can be used for many purposes in commercial and industrial facilities, the main reason though is for safety.
All of our mats can be used for "safety" issues.

The simplest safety issue is to create a surface that is safe to walk on and avoid slip and falls. OUr heated mats fall into this category as well as our cable mats. Heated mats keep a floor or walkway dry and ice free. They also help limit salt entering a building as less or no salt is required in the winter months. Heated mats work on 120 or 240 volts and have sizes of 3x5 and 3x10 and include a built in GFCI on the cord.
TRC yellow jacket cable mat
Our cable mats also create a safe area by covering up electrical cables and wiring. Slip and falls are avoided but also the rubber mats create an insulated barrier to high voltage wires that the mats go over. The mats have channels that the wires run in and so are protected from being compressed trip over. These mats fit together and come in straight lengths, right turns, left turns and end pieces so a "path" can be created. TRC supplies us their Yellow Jacket mat, which is the #1 cable mat.

Our control mats and safety mats are very similar. Tapeswitch and Carlo Gavazzi make control/Safety mats. the difference between a control mat and a safety mat is that a safety mat is connected to a SAFETY relay or switch, that makes the system SAFE. The relay needs to be listed for safe systems and its' construction has redundant relays that work in tandem for the switching. If one of the relays fails or sticks the system shuts down. Also the safety relay monitors the electrical flow or circuit in the mat and if the relay detects a problem, it will shut down and alarm. Tapeswitch Control Mat
These mats are made in a variety of sizes and are used when dangerous equipment is being used. Applications are punch presses, assembly lines, and robots where a person can be seriously hurt or killed if in the wrong place at the wrong time. These mas are usually made of rubber and can have a kevlar layer or the diamond plate exterior for high abuse areas. If the right mat is chosen, vehicles can be driven over the mats without any damage.

These mats can also be used in areas where safety in NOT the main concern but position of a person is important; is the machine operator there or not, for example. A Tapeswitch or Carlo Gavazzi mat could be used for security as well, to monitor a doorway or garage or a car wash entry. Upon pressure on the mat a door can open, an alarm sound, a machine can operate or a stack light be lit.

Sords Electric can help with your mat application. Please give us a call.


Saturday, May 16, 2009

GFCI ~ manual reset vs. automatic reset

trc gfci 30 amp
Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter or a GFCI is a switch designed to protect people from electrical shocks and electrocution.  The GFCI monitors the current flow into and out of an appliance or circuit and if the current is not equal, the GFCI will switch or trip in milliseconds.  After a trip the GFCI needs to be reset by pushing the "reset" button on the GFCI.  GFIC's are  required in homes in the bathrooms, kitchens and laundry rooms.  

A GFCI can come in wither manual reset mode or automatic reset models.  In this discussion regarding auto vs. manual reset is not after a GFCI trips due to a fault, but when the GFCI's circuit loses power or is initially powered up or plugged in.  GFCI's in homes that are wired into the wall are all AUTO reset GFCI's.  The GFCI after a power outage will reset itself with an electrical coil so that it is "ready" to go.  An auto reset GFCI should always be used for indoor use when the load is not a dangerous.  

A manual reset GFCI is usually used for outdoor power equipment or on the job site electrical tools and applications.The manual reset GFCI will need to be "reset" when the GFCI is plugged in or when power is applied to the curcuit.  The GFCI will trip when power is removed from the circuit or unplugged.  The GFCI will also trip when a fault is detected.  In both cases the GFCI will need to be manually reset.  Most of the GFCI's that we sell are manual reset GFCI's.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

GFCI ~ Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter

A "GFCI" is a ground fault circuit interrupter. A ground fault circuit interrupter is an inexpensive electrical device that, if installed in household branch circuits, could prevent over two-thirds of the approximately 300 electrocutions still occurring each year in and around the home. Installation of the device could also prevent thousands of burn and electric shock injuries each year.

The GFCI is designed to protect people from severe or fatal electric shocks Because a GFCI detects ground faults, it can also prevent some electrical fires and reduce the severity of others by interrupting the flow of electric current.

In the home's or other building's wiring system, the GFCI constantly monitors electricity flowing in a circuit, to sense any loss of current. If the current flowing through the circuit differs by a small amount from that returning, the GFCI quickly switches off power to that circuit. The GFCI interrupts power faster than a blink of an eye to prevent a lethal dose of electricity. You may receive a painful shock, but you should not be electrocuted or receive a serious shock injury.

In homes built to comply with the National Electrical Code (the Code), GFCI protection is required for most outdoor receptacles (since 1973), bathroom receptacle circuits (since 1975), garage wall outlets (since 1978), kitchen receptacles (since 1987), and all receptacles in crawl spaces and unfinished basements (since 1990).

Owners of homes that do not have GFCls installed in all those critical areas specified in the latest version of the Code should consider having them installed. For broad protection, GFCI circuit breakers may be added in many panels of older homes to replace ordinary circuit breaker. For homes protected by fuses, you are limited to receptacle or portable-type GFCIs and these may be installed in areas of greatest exposure, such as the bathroom, kitchen, basement, garage, and outdoor circuits.

A GFCI should be used whenever operating electrically powered garden equipment (mower, hedge trimmer, edger, etc.). Consumers can obtain similar protection by using GFCIs with electric tools (drills, saws, sanders, etc.) for do-it-yourself work in and around the house.

Circuit breaker and receptacle-type GFCIs may be installed in your home by a qualified electrician. Receptacle-type GFCIs may be installed by knowledgeable consumers familiar with electrical wiring practices who also follow the instructions accompanying the device. When in doubt about the proper procedure, contact a qualified electrician. Do not attempt to install it yourself.

The portable GFCI requires no special knowledge or equipment to install.

All GFCIs should be tested once a month to make sure they are working properly and are protecting you from fatal shock. GFCIs should be tested after installation to make sure they are working properly and protecting the circuit.

To test the receptacle GFCI, first plug a nightlight or lamp into the outlet. The light should be on Then, press the "TEST" button on the GFCI. The GFCI's "RESET" button should pop out, and the light should go out.

If the "RESET" button pops out but the light does not go out, the GFCI has been improperly wired. Contact an electrician to correct the wiring errors.

If the "RESET" button does not pop out, the GFCI is defective and should be replaced. 

If the GFCI is functioning properly, and the lamp goes out, press the "RESET" button to restore power to the outlet.

GFCI's should be used in Commercial and industrial enviroments as well.  NEC code requires the use of GFCI's with all portable electrical tools, that need to be plugged in, within a plant or on a job site.

Related products for commercial properties and job sites are our cable mats.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

AC Variable Frequency Drives

AC drives have been around for many years in one form or another. Dating back into the 50’s and 60’s they we operated by vacuum tubes. Of course today we have IGBT’s (Insulated Gate Bi-Polar Transistors) that allow the usage of 460 Volt and higher voltages to be applied to motors. You may not be able to imagine the size of the older drives and how they occupied large amounts of space for even a small amount of Horsepower. Take for example an 100 HP drive would have required a room 12 or 14 foot long whereas today the same 100 HP would only require 3 to 4 foot of wall space, and they are getting smaller everyday. Another area of advancement has been in the performance area. The older drives were limited as to the load they could start. The stating torque was limited to on 100% of full load torque or less. Today drives can do 200% starting torque or more. This has benefited in the use of AC Drives on heavy equipment and difficult hard starting applications.


AC Drives have opened up many applications that use to be driven by DC Drives or large Mechanical Drives. Now the applications are limited only to a few very large systems that still require, mainly from a dollar standpoint, the use of the other types of systems. In the HVAC, Water, and Waste Water industries the use of AC Drives has not only brought about more efficient process control, but when used with centrifugal pumps and fans there is significant electrical energy savings achieved in operational costs. The drives actually pay for themselves in a short period of time through electrical energy savings. Still the main thing that the AC Drive has done is to optimize the control of a process. By optimizing a process to the right speed for the process, or being able to change the speed for various processes used by the same piece of equipment, the AC Drive saves in productivity and ease of operation which adds dollars to the bottom line of a business. Some examples of these would be in Mixing, Conveying, Cold Forging, and Presses.


Over the years we have seen AC Drives also become less expensive. This has lead to even more applications now using AC Drives. In some cases they have taken the place of Motor Starters. Because of the unique way an AC Drive starts an AC Motor by varying the voltage and frequency, the drive allows for a controlled acceleration of a load or soft starting. Even if the application does not need variable speed but would benefit from a controlled start the AC Drive has advantages over the basic Motor Starter. Even though the across the line Motor Starter will be less expensive, an AC Drive may save the user by providing less mechanical stress on the driven equipment. There are also Solid State Starters that will give a Soft Start, but they may have a problem starting some loads due to the nature of how they operate. I’ve often used an illustration to show the difference in across the line starting versus using an AC Drive. Have you ever had to push a car? You don’t back up 30 feet and run toward the car as fast as you can, because you will end up with something broken and in a Hospital and the car will not have moved an inch. The correct way is to lean against the car and gradually apply pressure until the car begins to move and then you can gradually pick up speed until you get the car off of the road. This is how an AC Drive starts a load, by applying voltage and frequency together in the right proportion that the load begins to accelerate. So, for a few dollars more you eliminate shock loads on coupling, gears, and other components in a drive train.


AC Drives may have many benefits for the user, but they still need to be applied properly depending on the application. If you think you have an application that an AC Drive would benefit your process then you should talk with an AC Drive Applications Engineer (I just happen to know one, ME). Don’t listen to a salesman say that this drive or that drive will work if they don’t know the application. And don’t be fooled that all AC Drives are all alike, they aren’t. One common mistake is sizing a drive by Horsepower only. There are some motors that have a given Horsepower, but their full load amps and starting amps are way above the amperage capacity of a drive of the same HP rating. Most distributors have inside sales people who only know part numbers and very little else. Know who you are talking with and discover if they are just giving you what you want, or are they offering you a solution for your application and a drive that will meet your needs, and one that will give you years of excellent service. My grandfather use to tell me that, “you get what you pay for”, and this is very true when it comes to AC Drives. Price alone should never be the deciding factor when purchasing an AC Drive.


AC Drives do wonderful things, but there are some problems that you should be aware of when you are making your selection. The installation and location of a drive are very important. There are some many potential problems that I don’t have time to cover in this format, but you should again find an expert and discuss the down side of AC Drives and some of the pitfalls that you might encounter when installing and operating a drive.


I’ve got 30 plus years in this business and if you need good application help please give me a call and ask for Syd, not many guys left that go by that name, or with that amount of experience.


Switch Rated Plugs and Receptacles

Meltric's Decontactor Series products are a combination electrical plug and receptacle and disconnect switch in the same device. Decontactors are designed to allow users to safely make and break connections under full load even in overload and short circuit conditions. Protection from exposure to live parts and arc flash is ensured at all times during the operation of the device. Decontactors make it easy to provide plug & play connections for all your downtime critical equipment. They can be easily configured for use in a wide variety of applications such as for use as inline connectors/switches or they may be mounted on wall boxes, distribution panels or even directly on equipment.

ARC flash protection is a trademark of the Meltric product line. Decontactors are a combination plug, receptacle and disconnect switch. With Decontactors installed, workers can safely and easily make and break electrical connections under full load. The receptacle's dead front prevents access to live
parts and thus, exempts workers from needing to follow
OSHA/NFPA 70E specified work procedures associated with performing energized electrical work. Drawing an arc during plug removal is an inherent hazard with traditional pin and sleeve and twist type devices. Meltric Decontactors are designed to eliminate this hazard by isolating the making and breaking of the contacts in enclosed arc chambers and by ensuring that the plug contacts are deenergized and isolated from live parts before the plug can be removed.

When a Decontactor's 'OFF' button is pushed, its spring-loaded operating mechanism instantly opens the contacts to break the circuit and ejects the plug to the 'OFF' position. The quick breaking of the contacts (15 milliseconds) minimizes arcing; any that does occur is safely contained within the arc chamber.

Dead Front Construction: Meltric Decontactors have a dead front design to protect users from accidental exposure to live parts and arcing. The dead front is accomplished with a safety shutter on the receptacle along with enclosed arc chambers and a skirted plug casing. Since there is no access to live parts, Meltric products simplify compliance to the NFPA 70E Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace.

Silver-Nickel Contacts : Meltric uses solid silver-nickel contact surfaces on almost all of its plug and receptacle product lines. The 85% silver/15% nickel composition of the contacts add the beneficial physical properties of nickel to the excellent electrical characteristics of silver.

This silver-nickel material provides significant advantages
over the brass materials used on most other types of plugs and receptacles.

Silver-nickel maintains its low contact resistance and superior electrical properties even after oxidation and tarnishing. Silver-nickel withstands arcing very well and only welds at extremely high pressure and temperature. Thanks to the influence of the nickel, silver-nickel provides excellent wear resistance. Silver-nickel performs wells in and withstands wet and corrosive environments.

Meltric Plugs come in 20, 30, 60, 100, 200, 250, 300, 600 amp versions. They come in plastic and metal housings and in NEMA 4 and Explosion Proof ratings. The switches can be cord mounted or mounted to a junction box.

Meltric makes multi-pin plugs, up to 37 pins and use of some pins can be for control. The order that the contacts mate is, Ground first, neutral, phases, and then auxiliary.

Meltric's most popular series is their DSN series in 20, 30 and 60 amp deContactors.

Other key benefits:

Simplify Code Compliance

Avoid Costs of disconnects

Reduce Change-Out Times



Contactors and Relays

Contactors and Relays are other names for industrial switches.  Both contactors and relays rely on coils to cause contacts to close thus changing the switch from a closed to open position or from a open to a closed position. If the contactor or relay is usually open when de-energized, it is called Normally Open, and vice versa, if it is closed in the de-energized state then it is Normally closed.  A normally open (NO) contactor or relay is more common than normally closed (NC).  The main reason is that the relay or contactor will "fail" in the open position when power is lost to the coil.

Contactors and relays are used to close a circuit to "turn on" and allow electrical flow into a system or a device.  A coil is used to open and close the contacts.  The coil voltage can be a different voltage than that is switched.  The most common coil voltages are 120/60, 24/60 and 24vdc.  The most common switched voltages are 120/60, 240/60 and 480/60.  

Contactors and relays are sized in amperes or amps. Also, they come in single pole, double pole, three pole and four pole.  The most common are single pole and three pole; three pole for three phase power systems.  The two common types of loads are resistive and inductive.  A resistive load is normally a heating load.  A resistive load does not normally have an inrush current. Howeve, some high temperature heating elements for ovens do have high inrush. Inductive loads such as motors and lighting do have inrush currents and these inrush currents need to be addressed when sizing an appropriate contactor.  To figure amps please use our OHM's law calculator.

Types of Contactors and relays are:

Mechanical Contactors
Cube relays
SCR controls

Mercury Contactors or Mercury Displacement Relays

Mercury contactors are a great way to switch industrial loads on and off.  Mercury contactors or MDR's (Mercury Displacement Relays) can be the best option for electric heating elements.  The Mercury relays have very long life, millions of cycles, are quiet and can be cycled up to once every second.  Mercury Relays far outlast and out perform mechanical contactors and relays which can have only 100,000 cycles and be limited to switching once every 30 to 60 seconds.  Normally closed mercury relays are also used for traffic control to control blinking lights as they have the long life and higher temperature resistance  than other types of contactors, especially solid state relays.

Mercury Displacement Relays are all designed and built to meet the most exacting demands of industry. They have won their high place in the electrical field by doing the tough and tricky jobs that ordinary equipment could at best do in an uncertain manner. They have proved their ability to stand up under the most adverse conditions of temperature, dust and moisture, in all types of applications. All the care required for the manufacture of high-grade instruments is used in the manufacture of the switches. All switch parts are specially cleaned, and contamination is avoided by use of tweezers, gloves, etc., when making assemblies.

Contactors are hermetically sealed with high quality glass to metal seals.
The stainless steel tube is totally encapsulated in high grade UL approved epoxy to prevent moisture damage and voltage breakdown through the protective coating.
The coils are wound on compact nylon bobbins and molded onto the metal tube to provide minimum power loss. This allows for low coil power required to actuate the contactor. This also enables the units to handle high loads with minimum derating due to higher ambient temperatures.
Inert gases internally prevent excessive arcing between the mercury and the electrodes which enables the unit to function for millions of cycles with very low contact resistance, and minimum deterioration of the internal parts.
Available in all standard coil voltages, in single, two and three pole arrangements. Other coil voltages available upon request.
In multiple pole units each tube is actuated by its own coil. This eliminates pull-in variation between contact tubes, assuring consistent switching.

    1. Superior Performance and Reliability
      1. Long life
      2. Durable
    2. Compact Size
    3. Low, Predictable Contact Resistance
    4. Reduced RFI for Improved Interface Capability
    5. Handles a Variety of Loads
      1. Increases design flexibility
    6. Rapid On-Off Cycling Capability
      1. Mercury quickly dissipates contact heat
    7. Low Coil Power Requirements
    8. Minimal Derating Due to Higher Ambient Temperatures
    9. Quiet Action
    1. Contacts are within a hermetically sealed steel body
      1. Impervious to adverse conditions
      2. No external arcing
    2. Arcing is in a gaseous atmosphere
      1. Quenches the arc
      2. Extends relay life
    3. Only one moving part (the plunger)
      1. No buttons to pit, weld or burn out
    4. One coil for each set of contacts
      1. Assures consistent switching
      2. Minimizes pull-in variation between contacts
    5. Epoxy encapsulated
      1. Moisture resistant
      2. High dielectric strength
      3. Permanently fixes contacts to coil; eliminating possible misalignment
      4. Helps dissipate heat and noise
      5. Rugged (impact resistant)
    1. Reduction of Operational and Maintenance costs
    2. Increases Utilization and Productivity of Equipment
      1. By reducing down-time
    3. Installation and service is a routine operation
      1. Simple to install
      2. No sophisticated equipment is required
      3. Easy to trouble-shoot



      Auditorium Lighting
      Copy Equipment
      Dimmer Controls
      Display Signs
      Emergency Lighting
      Flood Lights
      High Intensity Lamps
      Hospital Lighting
      Lighting Test Panels
      Mercury Vapor Lamps
      Parking Lots
      Photography Lighting
      Sodium Vapor Lamps
      Stage Lighting
      Street Lighting
      Tower Control
      Traffic Signal
      Tungsten Lamps

      Air Conditioning
      Alarm Systems
      Automatic Door Closers
      Battery Chargers
      Blue Print Machines
      Computer Power Supplies
      Corrosive Locations
      Dusty, Oily Locations
      Dry Cleaning Equipment
      Energy Management Systems
      Farm Incubators & Brooders
      High Cycle Rate Applications
      Low Voltage Switching
      Marking & Engraving Equipment
      Motor Starting
      Soldering Systems
      Telephone Switching
      Test Panels
      Vapor Degreasers
      X-Ray Machine Controls

      Baseboard Heaters
      Blow Molding
      Cabinet Heaters
      Chemical Tank Heaters
      Curing Furnaces
      Drying Ovens
      Duct Heaters
      Film Packaging
      Glass Furnaces
      Heat Lamps
      Heat Sealing Machines
      Induction Heater
      Industrial Ovens
      Infrared Heaters
      Ink Drying
      Ink Heating
      Injection Molding Machines
      Lab Ovens
      Packaging Equipment
      Plastic Extruders
      Quartz Heaters
      Radiant Heaters
      Roof Top Heating
      Shrink Tunnels
      Unit Heaters
      Vacuum Forming


      Baking Ovens
      Coffee Urns
      Deep Fryers
      Electric Grills
      Electric Ranges
      Pizza Ovens
      Steam Generators

      Capacitor Discharge Systems
      Hazardous Locations
      Phase Converters
      Tower Control


A Switch is a device for making, breaking, or changing the connections in an electrical circuit. This is very simple, how you make the switch switch though is the fun part and interesting part of our buisness. Sords Electric has all kinds of switches for dong all kinds of things. We can also call valves swtiches, which stop or start or change the flow of a media such as water, gas, or air. Our industrial automated lifestyle relies on switches to get everything done, from opening up garage doors, turning on lights, washing clothes, traffic control, water treatment and making everything that our industrial world demands. Without a switch or valve, nothing could be "automatic."

Every switch needs an actuation device. A person can be this device such as turning on a light or coffee maker. Upon doing so you push a button or move a lever to make the switch switch. In the automation world, the actuation is done electrically; a coil or solenoid. However, this acuation also has to be triggered by a sensor. This gives us the automatic switch needed for automation and control.

Sords Electric has switches that use light, sound, temperature, flow, magnets, current, voltage, pressure, and even hands to switch the switch. Names for these types of switches are photoelectric switches, laser switches, ultrasonic switches, temperature switches, flow switches, proximity switches, GFCIs or current switches, contactors and relays, pressure switches and control mats, and manual disconnect switches.

In further posts we can discuss each type of switch and how they function.

Sords Electric History

In the 1920s Sords Electric got its start in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio on Front Street. The store supplied lighting, appliances and repair services. some of the products sold were GE lighting, Westinghouse switches and relays, Stiffel lamps.

Irma Sords ran the store for about 60 years. However, in 1960 Robert Sords started the industrial branch in Cleveland Ohio as the distributor arm of the representative firm Anderson-Bolds. Some of the first products were Ward Leonard contactors and Burgess MicroSwitches.

In 2003 the internet store was launched and products have slowly been added to the website, including GFCIs, Mercury Contactors, Photo electric switches, proximity switches, laser switches, timers, counters, solid state relays, electric heaters, Temperture Controls, Motors and Drives and power supplies. Manfacturers include Meltric, ATC, Carlo Gavazzi, Fenwal, Bosch, MDI, Toshiba, TECO, Fenwal and Tapeswitch Safety Mats.

Please visit our website and our Facebook page for more information.
Cleveland, Ohio 44122