Can you use a 277V switch on a 120V circuit?

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by philefriendly, Oct 13, 2010.

  1. philefriendly

    philefriendly New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Hi-
    I happen to have an occupancy sensor/dimmer switch that is rated for 277V, and I'd like to use it for a light on a regular 120V circuit. Would this work? I'm skeptical because the switch (Wattstopper WD-180) only says it is rated at 277V, whereas they do have other models that are rated 120V-277V.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,025
    Location:
    New England
    Probably not since it is electronic. Maybe, you'd have to call them to be sure, or read the installation manual, if available on-line, to find out. Non-electronic stuff like simple switches, wires, connectors, etc. that are rated for (maybe much) higher voltages than planned, are fine to use on a lower voltage. Electronic stuff may or may not work at a lower voltage.
  3. jbfan74

    jbfan74 Electrical Contractor

    Messages:
    131
    Location:
    Newnan, GA
    Since it is rated at 277, it requires that voltage to operate.
    As you have found out, they make a 120/277 rated sensor, and that would work.
  4. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    The WD-170 is the 120 volt model.
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,653
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    A simple on/off mechanical switch would be rated for its maximum voltage, but one with an electronic function will only work at the specified voltage.
  6. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,025
    Location:
    New England
    Most electronic stuff is marked with a voltage range, if it can work with various inputs. When it is listed with one voltage, generally, that's it.
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