Why Are Key Locks on Our Switch Enclosures? - Southwest Electric

Why Are Key Locks on Our Switch Enclosures?

A common question we get regarding our switchgear is :

“Why are key locks so common on our switch enclosures?” Key locks serve the important function of preventing improper, dangerous operation of equipment while providing safety for the operating personnel.


In this example, the non-load break selector switch up top is feeding a load break switch beneath it. The key locks guarantee that the load break switch (located at the bottom) opens first, preventing any current flow before safely opening the non-load break switch positioned at the top. To ensure proper operation, you must lock the bottom switch in the open position. This allows you to remove its key, which then unlocks the operating mechanism of the top switch, enabling it to change position.

The other door locks on this equipment prevent personnel from getting inside the enclosure while the switches are energized. So, both switches must be locked open in order to release those keys and gain entry.

In summary, it all comes down to safety when working with the equipment. Proper use of key locks greatly minimizes the risk of equipment damage and personnel injury.


To inquire about our custom switchgear features, contact Southwest Electric Co’s switchgear division today! The Custom Switchgear Division at Southwest Electric Company focuses on innovative switchgear solutions to meet your evolving needs.

Our experienced electrical switchgear staff provides a range of flexible solutions, whether you’re looking for new switchgear or hoping to repair or refurbish your existing equipment. Combined, our team has more than 325 years of engineering, manufacturing, and field experience.


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