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Thread: Old Pro melt switch died, PID workaround question

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    403

    Old Pro melt switch died, PID workaround question

    After more than 40 years of service,I saw the illuminated switch on my RCBS Promelt flicker,and also noticed that my lead was cooler and not flowing well. As I cycled the switch ,I noticed that it no longer had 2 distinct positions,but was instead gritty and much harder to cycle. I had the presence of mind to empty the pot before it froze.
    I have never gone the PID route or even used a thermometer, and was wondering if a complete PID controller could be wired around the switch, thereby dragging me into the 21st century,saving an old pot,and getting me better control without the cool down issues of the Promelt 2. I say a complete PID because Iím not able to wire one together from components, but with directions could probably install a temperature probe and wire around the old switch. Any ideas from those selling or using complete PIDs would be appreciated.
    In case itís not the switch, I figure I could still use the PID on my old Lyman XX backup furnace. Thanks for your consideration.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator



    HATCH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Lexington, SC
    Posts
    5,438
    You have a couple options if I am reading your post correctly.

    Option 1
    If the thermostat works fine you can simply drill a 1/2 hole next to the existing switch and use a 15 amp toggle switch like this one
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	SPST+15+Amp+Napa+Toggle+Switch+43041_L.jpg 
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    Just connect the 2 wires from the old switch to the new switch and your good to go

    Option 2
    Connect the two wires on the existing switch together, bypassing the switch completely.
    Plug your pot into a multi-outlet power strip and use the switch on the strip to turn it on and off

    Option 3
    Connect the two wires on existing switch together, bypassing switch.
    connect the 2 wires on the thermostat together, bypassing the thermostat.
    Build or buy a PID. Don't look back.

    I personally would go with option 3 as your quality of your boolits will go up as you will be running a more stable temp because of the PID setup.

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Central Michigan
    Posts
    152
    Give RCBS a call and see if they will send you a replacement switch.

  4. #4
    Boolit Man
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Dawsonville, GA
    Posts
    80
    When my switch went bad, I found one just like it on Amazon.

    Simple job to replace switch, You have to drill out a few rivets to remove the cover. Install new switch.
    Then replace pop rivets to reinstall the cover.

  5. #5
    Boolit Grand Master
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Central Virginia
    Posts
    5,646
    RCBS will likely send you a switch.

    If they don't have one, try these folks: https://www.jameco.com/webapp/wcs/st...atalogId=10001

    Frankly, as long as the thermostat was still working I would just bypass the switch.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master redhawk0's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    North East, USA
    Posts
    819
    Another great source for switches is McMaster-Carr.

    https://www.mcmaster.com/electrical-controls

    redhawk

    The only stupid question...is the unasked one.
    Be Alert....we need more lerts.
    Not all who wander....are lost.

    If more government is the answer, then it was a really stupid question. - Ronald Reagan

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    403
    Thanks to everyone for the rapid answers,especially with Hatch's outline of my options. I'll try the switch option first, and ask for more help if I screw that up which is likely.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
    Mal Paso's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Carmel, Ca
    Posts
    2,298
    Watch out! There are 3 wires on the Pro Melt switch. One is a Neutral Wire to power the light and mixing them up will trip the breaker.

    For a 2 pole switch, use the wire that comes from the the thermostat and the one to the heating element. Don't use the white wire that is common to the unswitched side of the element which is for the light.

    A sharp wood chisel will shear the pop rivets easier than drilling and #10x1/2 sheet metal screws will put it back so you can get back in when you need.
    Mal

    Mal Paso means Bad Pass, just so you know.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master


    Walter Laich's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Cypress, Republic of Texas
    Posts
    3,173
    Quote Originally Posted by HATCH View Post
    You have a couple options if I am reading your post correctly.

    Option 1
    If the thermostat works fine you can simply drill a 1/2 hole next to the existing switch and use a 15 amp toggle switch like this one
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	SPST+15+Amp+Napa+Toggle+Switch+43041_L.jpg 
Views:	9 
Size:	28.0 KB 
ID:	240594
    Just connect the 2 wires from the old switch to the new switch and your good to go

    Option 2
    Connect the two wires on the existing switch together, bypassing the switch completely.
    Plug your pot into a multi-outlet power strip and use the switch on the strip to turn it on and off

    Option 3
    Connect the two wires on existing switch together, bypassing switch.
    connect the 2 wires on the thermostat together, bypassing the thermostat.
    Build or buy a PID. Don't look back.

    I personally would go with option 3 as your quality of your boolits will go up as you will be running a more stable temp because of the PID setup.
    another option is to just twist the wires together and pull them apart when done
    NRA Life
    USPSA L1314
    SASS Life 48747
    RVN War Games, 2nd Place

  10. #10
    Boolit Grand Master

    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    England,Ar
    Posts
    5,271
    I'll 2nd calling RCBS.

  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy 44magLeo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Lebanon, NY
    Posts
    393
    I might start by replacing the switch.
    Does the light run all the time or just when the heating element draw power?
    If it runs all the time any switch with a 15 amp rating should be fine. Just hook the power in tone side of switch, hook both the light wire and heater wire to the other side of switch.
    This lets the light be on all the time.
    If the light only lights when the heating element is drawing power, It will be harder to wire up. If I had a wiring diagram of you pot I might be able to tell you how.
    Building a PID is easy. Wire it so your pot plugs into the PID. Fix your pot however you want. Once fixed just plug it into the PID, turn switch on and turn temp control all the way up. Insert temp sensor in the pot, turn PID on.
    It will keep your pot a lot closer to the right temp than the stock temp control.
    You will like that.
    Leo

  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    403
    Thanks to everyone,I wound up replacing the switch,worked perfectly.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check