Control Gear Guide

Wed Sep 18, 2019

Control gear is an all-encompassing term for electrical disconnect switches, fuses and circuit breakers used to control, protect and isolate electrical equipment, according to David Humphrey of ARC Advisory Group. At MCG, control gear consists of motor starters, push buttons and terminals. This guide serves as a brief overview of these devices.


Motor Starters

Motor starters, quite simply, start motors. They can also stop them, reverse them and protect them. Motor starters control the use of electrical power to a motor. 

They consist of two devices: contactors and overload relays. Contactors complete the circuit to the motor while overload relays monitor the current the motor is drawing. 

MCG carries four types of motor starters:


Push Buttons

Push buttons can either start a machine or stop it. Push buttons work as a chain: when the push button is pressed, electricity flows through the contact block and then to the coil of a contactor located in the circuit. There are two types of contact blocks: Normally Open (N/O), which makes something start, or Normally Closed (N/C), which makes something stop. 

MCG Push Buttons are typically noted by their colors: green is for starting, red for stopping and blue for resetting. Other colors are also available for miscellaneous applications. 

MCG carries two types of push buttons:



A terminal is a simple way of connecting cables together. It provides multiple outputs from one input and ensures long cable runs can be terminated successfully even with small amperage. 

Terminals come in a standard gray, but are also available in multiple colors such as black, white, red, blue, yellow and orange. Different colors help to differentiate between circuits during installation.

MCG carries four types of terminals: