The Point of Difference Between 2, 3, and 4 Pole Contactor

Electricity has a major role to play in modern times and ages. The world is massively reliant on electricity to carry out everyday functions, be it industrial or households. Electricity is used to run industrial machinery, global servers, and most international modes of communication. At the household level, electricity plays a vital role too. Other than running electrical appliances and lights, electricity is also used for charging and operating smartphones and computers, cooking, as well as for entertainment.

Given how integral electricity is to everyday life, it is important to learn about the essential electrical components that are frequently used. So, in this article, we will discuss electrical contactors and the point of difference between 2, 3, and 4 poles.

What are electrical contactors?

Electrical contactors usually refer to the devices that are used for turning an electrical circuit on, as well as for turning them off whenever necessary. The electrical contactor often functions as a relay, used for appliances and circuits with a higher current carrying capacity. The traditional relay system is usually designed for appliances or circuits with a significantly lower current carrying capacity.

Electrical contactors are provided with multiple contacts and a contactor coil. While the power is on, the contactor coil is energized, providing power to the loads with higher current carrying capacities. Electrical contactors like the 3 and 4 pole contactors are primarily used around the household to control electric motors and other heavy-load appliances.

The electrical contactors also come with a contactor coil or electromagnet, auxiliary contacts, and an insulated casing for electrical protection. As long as the electrical contactor is connected to a live circuit, the current that passes through the contactor excites the electromagnet, generating a magnetic field. This causes the contactor core to move the armature and close the circuit. Closing the circuit allows current to flow through and reach the load. Once the power is turned off or the contactor is removed from the circuit, the coil loses power, removing the magnetic field and subsequently opening the circuit. Electrical contactors have grown popular because of their rapid response rate.

Here we will discuss the difference between the 2,3, and 4 pole contactors.

2-Pole Contactors

2-pole contactors are usually used for appliances with lower current capacities with a tolerance of up to 40A. The 2-pole contactor is typically designed for low voltage pick-up and can be used for single-phase power control applications.

3-Pole Contactors

The 3-pole contactor is used as a relay switch for electrical power circuits. 3-pole contactors are mostly designed to break the flow of currents as high as thousands of amperes. The 3-pole contactor can be effectively used for electrical motors, capacitor banks, thermal evaporators, and other appliances with significantly higher loads. In addition, it has a variety of available auxiliary contacts. Though the 3-pole contactor has a standard coil voltage of 240V, it is available in other coil voltages on request.

The 3-pole contactor is also popularly recognized as the 3-phase contactor as it is affected by the three-phase RYB (red, yellow, and blue) supply of AC current. Unlike the 4-pole contactor, the 3-pole contactor is not provided with a neutral connection.

4-Pole Contactors

The design of the 4-pole contactor is similar to that of the 3-pole contactor, and can be used for appliances with extremely high current capacities. The standard 4-pole contactor usually comes with the standard 24V coil voltage but is available in other coil voltages as well. Unlike circuit breakers, the 4-pole contactor is unable to interrupt short circuit currents and is mostly used for controlling appliances with heavy electrical loads, such as electric motors, heating, lighting, capacitor banks, and thermal evaporators.

However, the major difference between the 3-phase contactor and the 4-pole contactor lies in the fact that the 4-pole contactor is equipped with a 4-wire connection, and the additional wire is meant for a neutral wire connection. The neutral connection in the 4-pole contactor is helpful in providing protection from neutral voltage.

Final words

If you are looking for 2-pole, 3-phase, or 4-pole contactor for your household application, you can purchase one today from the Schneider Electric online store. Schneider Electric is a one-stop destination for all your electrical requirements and solutions. You can also grab exciting offers on the best electrical components and appliances from the top brands. Provide your home with the best electrical security and solutions with the wide range of electrical equipment available only at Schneider Electric! Visit their e-shop at

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