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A Simple Switch to Save Electronics from Landfill

A visit to your local landfill or recycling centre can be a sobering experience. People will throw away the most amazing things, many of them perfectly serviceable with only minor repairs necessary. The problem is that we have become confused about what can be repaired and what should be thrown away. Reports show that consumers are throwing away millions of pounds worth of electrical goods each year. However, the components needed to fix electrical equipment can very often be sourced easily and do not need expert installation. Here is a look at one of the most common – the simple switch.


Weak link

Switches are all around us and are used in most pieces of technology. As you read this you are most likely using a computer with a variety of switches used to type and operate functions such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Whether you are using a laptop computer, a washing machine or a central heating system, the problem with switches are that they are often the most used component in the design and by token of this design they are the weakest link. Eventually, switches wear out and will need replacing. When that happens you should think carefully before consigning something to landfill.


Many people think that these components are bespoke, designed only for the device they are using and will prove uneconomical to replace. However, manufacturers will often use tried and tested mass-produced switches which they know will work. They will save money because they do not have to pay for manufacture. What this all means to the consumer with broken technology is that finding a replacement switch is far from the expensive ordeal that they had predicted.

Whether you need a rocker, rotary, slide, toggle piezo or micro switch, internet-based companies now exist which can supply you with a replacement specifically designed for your device or system. Finding the correct switch is simply a matter of visiting their website and performing a search. Try to have as much information as possible about the device or system available, such as the model number and year of manufacture. If you can’t find the component you are looking for, a quick call to the company will put you in touch with an advisor who can help you to find what you are looking for and even supply data sheets for your brand new switch.


Many electrical devices, especially modern ones, are built with a system of clips and harnesses. This can mean that replacing a defective switch is as simple as swapping over a few cables. Other switch components are push-fit designs that are replaced by pushing the component into a socket. However, you should always get a qualified electrician to check your work before you use a device. In addition, an electrician will be able to perform the soldering required on older devices, which may have fixed electronic boards. Although these older devices may need a little expert know-how, the repair is often quick and easy and will be much more cost-effective than replacement.

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