To learn how to wire a relay, you need to understand what a relay is. It can be likened to a wall switch, but unlike a wall switch, it doesn’t need someone to flip it on and off manually. It is switched on and off by electrical power. You do this by energizing a coil which prompts the relay to switch circuits on and off. You use a relay for many things like appliances, automobiles, machines, and more. A relay can switch multiple circuits with different voltages all at the same time.
There are various designs for relays, but the most common ones are found in low voltage applications for automobiles and boats. The electro-mechanical relays activate the electromagnet for these applications which then pull contacts to trigger a circuit.
Most 12 volt relays operate the accessories in cars and other motor vehicles. When you apply a small amount of current to the relay coil, this closes contacts which in turn feed power to an accessory which would normally require a lot of current to operate.
To wire a 12 volt automotive relay, you need to make at least four connections. You need a couple of wires to the coil so that you could operate the relay itself. You need another two wires to attach to the relay contacts to apply power to the accessory.
Take note that you adequate electrical skills in order to wire a 12V relay. You need to select the right tools and get the right wire and connectors. So, here’s how you wire a relay:
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