A variety of the functional technological developments that we deal with every day are so complex, or so obscure, that we hardly ever interact with them, and forcng ourselves to learn about them. The saying ‘out of sight, out of mind’, is applicable in many instances. But when we take the time to learn a little bit more about the technology that sustains our society, it often enlightens us to the delicate nature of our arrangement with the Earth, and the fact that many technologies come with a downside, or a danger to them. In case you have the knowledge of the purpose of 200 amp disconnect switches and also other such electrical safety devices, then you understand more of the duality of technology than many others.

Electricity runs through conductive materials, often times taking the simplest path through them. In the event you have seen birds perched on top of a live, uninsulated power line, and pondered why they do not receive an electric shock, this will answer your question: the birds never complete any circuit, as they are only touching just one wire. In the event the electricity travelling through the power line were to move through the bird’s body, it may well return to the same power line. If one of the birds is going to touch the pylon, as well as other grounded object, the fact is that the electricity would then have a path to travel through, and the bird could be electrocuted. Also, if you were to grab hold of an uninsulated electrical wire, except in cases where you were using some sort of insulating material (or clothing) in the correct place, the electricity could travel through you and to the grounded surface on which you were standing, electrocuting you, but should you be safe, the current will have nowhere to go, and will definitely stick to the shortest path, even when your body is conductive.
So, with this danger inherent to all electrical circuit, it stands to reason that there should be some safety mechanism meant to protect against this kind of electrocution. And the easiest way to protect against electricity in an electrical circuit is to make sure that there is no electricity in the circuit in question. This is where the 200 amp disconnect switch and other amperage switches enter. If a part of an electrical circuit or a component in the circuit should be serviced, a disconnect switch is utilized to cut off the power supply to that segment or component. Usually, a disconnect switch is called for or recommended to have a padlock or some other security system in place in order that the circuit cannot be easily re-connected. If this fail safe is combined with the tendency of workers to place a note on the switch box letting the reader know that the circuit is broken, and why, it is actually difficult for a mistake to be made.

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