Starters and contactors
are electrical devices that are used to start motors and protect them from power surges. Notably, the term starters and contactors are often used interchangeably because they are both used for controlling electric motors
. However, they have a slight difference. A contactor is an overgrown relay. Indeed, it is rated by voltage and is part of the main components of a starter. The contactor helps to apply voltage to the coil so that contacts can close to either supply or cut power running into the circuit. On the other hand, a starter is a contactor but it features an additional component referred to as overload relay. Besides, it is rated using motor horsepower (HP) or amperage. If you remove the overload relay, it ceases being a starter and becomes a simple contactor. The overload relay is used on the starter to protect your motor from damage. In case of electrical surge, it cuts the power supply and shuts the system down to prevent overheating. Therefore, it is prudent to ensure you pick the starters and contactors with the right power rating for effective and safe operation.