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How Does An Air Switch Work?

Air Switches are part of our product range at Herga, they are very useful devices and are often selected for use within wet environments.

The term “air switch” can be used to refer to the push button switch or the actual air which is connected to the electrical circuit. 

The push button switch (or footswitch etc depending on the application) is also known as a pneumatic switch. 

How Does an Air Switch Work?

When a pneumatic switch is compressed, rather than completing an electrical circuit like a more common electrical switch, it sends a puff of air down a tube to an air switch connected to an electric circuit. The puff of air activates the air switch to turn “on” this turns on the device which is connected to the circuit. 

Why Use an Air Switch

The main benefit of using an air switch is that it keeps the user away from the electrical components of the circuit. This is beneficial because it enables them to be used in wet environments without the risk of the user becoming electrocuted.

Air Switch Applications

Some of the most common uses for air switches are;

Kitchen waste disposal - the pneumatic switch is located on the worktop and the air switch and electrical circuit is out of reach for the user. The use of the air switch ensures the pneumatic push button is safe to press when the user has wet hands. 

Spa Jacuzzi Controls - the button which is pressed to activate the bubbles in a spa Jacuzzi must be a pneumatic switch and air switch, this is because it will often be wet when being pressed and the user will be sat in the water. Using an air switch eliminates risk for the user. 

Shower Systems in Gymnasiums - another environment where water is constantly present. Using an air switch to activate the shower system ensures the users safety. 

Toilet Flushes - a toilet flush is another popular application for air switches and pneumatic push button switches as this is yet another wet environment where people need to be kept safe. More recently air switches are being used less for toilet flushes and instead infrared switches are being used, find out more about IR switches here. 

Air Switches from Herga Technology

We have been manufacturing and supplying air switches for many years. See all of our air switches on our website.  Many of the air switches in our range have stock models meaning they are available for fast delivery. They have either back or side entry tubing options and some are UL/CSA approved.

6861 - Standard momentary or latching switch, neoprene or silicone diaphragm. Mounting Plate available for general purpose applications. 

6862 - Double switch, momentary or latching versions with either neoprene or silicone diaphragm

6863 - Low pressure momentary standard switch, neoprene diaphragm 

6864 - Double poll staggered switch with neoprene diaphragm 

6869 - Very low pressure momentary switch. Fixing holes for easy installation. Suitable for general purpose applications. 

6871 & 6872 - Ideal for OEM applications, latching or momentary with silicone diaphragm

6891&6893 - small PCB mounting air switch, silicone diaphragm 

Pneumatic Switches from Herga 

Our air switches are compatible with all of our pneumatic switches. Take a look at our full range of Pneumatic switches here. The most common used pneumatic switch in the above mentioned applications are our push button switches -  6442 and 6438. But we also have pneumatic hand controls, footswitches and bellows

For more information, you can compare products on our Pneumatic Line card. 

If you would like an air switch for your application please contact us to discuss your requirements. 


Article published on: 03/02/2020

Article last updated on: 03/02/2020