Difference between Contactor and Starter

What is a contactor, exactly?

Contactors are electrically operated switching devices that are used to make electrical connections. The basic operation is similar to that of a relay, with the exception that the contractors can bring a broad current up to 12500A to the relay. They can't defend against short circuits or overloads, but they can break the contract if the coil is excited.

What is a starter?

A starter is a mechanism that rotates an internal combustion engine so that it can start running on its own power. Electronic or hydraulic starters are available.

Difference between contactor and starter:

  • A contactor is an electrical switch that functions similarly to a relay, whereas a starter is a contactor with an overload relay.
  • A contractor does not have an overload coupled to it, while a starter has multiple overload options.
  • In comparison to a starter, which is usually rated by its current capacity and the horsepower of the motor with which it is compatible, a contactor is normally graded by its voltage capacity.
  • A contactor closes the contacts and supplies and interrupts power to the circuit by applying a voltage to a contactor coil. An overload relay is used by the starter to protect the motor from load surges by shutting it down to avoid overheating.
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