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Why Marine Rocker Switches are best: How They Work, Wiring Tips, and More!

Ultimate Guide On How To Rocker Switch Wiring Diagram

Seawater boats are more vulnerable to the worst electrical failures due to harsh marine environments, humidity, salt, and vibrations. This makes it crucial to fulfill all the essentials for electrical wiring on boats.

Regarding electrical buttons, the effectiveness and quality of Rocker switches are well known. Thus among various options available, the demand for marine rocker switches is increasing rapidly in the marine and boating industry.

These buttons are a crucial part of any watercraft. They are explicitly designed to withstand the marine environment. Their manufacturing involves using high-quality materials that offer exceptional durability and reliability. Additionally, they come in various formations for various applications and to enhance safety.

For optimal performance, it is crucial to ensure they are installed correctly. This also helps in effective troubleshooting and prevents chances for any potential electrical mishap.

From understanding the basics to exploring their wiring options and replacing their cover, this article aims to provide a comprehensive guide for Marine Rocker Switches.

Understanding Marine Rocker Switches (MRS)

Rocker switches are the most common type of buttons you encounter in your everyday life. Marine rocker switches are their extension and usually work on see-saw formations. This means their mechanism involves two positions, pressed up or down, to activate or deactivate the connected circuits.

Types of Marine Rocker Switches

Depending on their working mechanism and application, these buttons are available in different types. This includes on-off/off-on, illuminated, momentary, changeovers, and center-off switches.

Below given is a brief discussion about each of these.

Off-on/On-off MRS.

These are the simplest form of rocker buttons which usually work in two positions, on and off. They allow providing or cutting-off power supply to single or multiple circuits simultaneously.

Additionally, they also come in on-on mechanisms depending on specific applications.

Illuminated MRS

As clear from their name, these buttons involve illumination to show whether the power is transmitting. Their use commonly involves power strips, control arrays, breakers, and dashboards.

Momentary MRS.

These buttons are designed in a way to complete the circuit only when they are pressed. Thus also known as push buttons. These types of controls are mainly found in the grid and power supply mechanisms.

The momentary MRS also allows individuals to choose between power input sources.

They can be operated automatically or manually.

Centre-off MRS.

Usually, every rocker switch comes with a center-off position. But, these buttons specifically involve two places for circuit completion. Thus, they are also known as on-off-on buttons.

These type of switches mostly comes with completely manual working.

How’s Marine Rocker Switches from Schneider, ABB, and Eaton?

While various brands are available for marine rocker switches in the market, the most well-known ones include Schneider, ABB, and Eaton.

But Weup has emerged as a formidable competitor in recent times. They offer several advantages over well-established brands like Schneider, ABB, and Eaton.

Their products are engineered with top-grade materials that offer exceptional durability and resistance to corrosion. Their enhanced safety features ensure that their electrical products withstand overloads and short circuits.

Additionally, Weup takes pride in providing excellent customer service. By ensuring timely and effective customer support, Weup sets itself apart from Schneider, ABB, and Eaton, enhancing its reputation in the market.

How Marine Rocker switches work

MRS has a simple and straightforward working mechanism. This involves applying a little pressure on either end of the button to complete or break the circuit. Thus, compared to their toggle equivalents, they offer easy operations while turning on or off the switch.

The actuator and set of contacts are the two main parts of these switches. The actuator is the visible part of the button, while the set of contacts ensures whether the button is on or off. The pressure is applied to the actuator, which transfers this force to set the contacts.

Now if the button is turned on, the set of contacts will complete the circuit and allow current to pass. Contrary to this, if the switch is turned off, the set of contacts will break the circle and restricts current flow.

However, rockers are more prone to sticking on positions depending on positions within the button and the quality of the manufacturing material. To prevent this, it’s necessary to ensure that the button has a spring loading. This makes it easy for the switch to return to its required position when pressed.

How to Illuminate Marine Rocker Switches
Switches were first invented in 1884 by John Henry Holmes. Since then, they have been in the phase of continuous development. Thus modern-day buttons are safer, more reliable, and easy to operate.

Among various available options, illuminated switches are best. Their illumination enhances visibility, especially at night time, and makes their operations easy.

Marine LED rocker switches, or lighted marine rocker switches, are specifically designed for on-boat uses. They help boaters to perform electric functions safely and effectively.

But in case your boat has built-in simple rocker switches, you can illuminate them by yourself. Below is a video that comprehensively explains how to illuminate MRS.


How to wire a Maine Rocker Switch: step by step guide
As a boater, controlling your device by switching just one button is amazing. And MRS is definitely made to make this process easier.

However, wiring them can be complex. But with proper tools and guidance, this is a matter of minutes. Below given is the detailed process to wire your MRS.

Material Requirements
You will need the following:

  • Switch
  • A tape
  • A drill with half an inch-long drill bit
  • Wire strippers

Step 1: Check for the switch requirements
Commonly used rocker switches come in two types that are with built-in circuits and without built-in circuits. If the boat already has suitable amperage and only a switch replacement is required, then you will need a switch without a circuit. Contrary to this, you will require one with the circuit if you do this from scratch.

Step 2: Wire stripping and switch placement
Now strip both ends of the wire that needs to be connected. It is recommended to strip around half an inch from both sides. Now use the drill and make a hole in the wall. Ensure the hole is slightly bigger than the switch.

Step 3: Connecting the Wire
If you use a button with the circuit, first connect this to the fuse panel. Now take the ground wire and connect this with the green terminal.

In case you have a without circuit button, then first identification for hot wire is necessary. This wire contains current even when the button is off. Once you detect this, connect with the L1 terminal on the button.

Now use tape to roll over connections to prevent any short circuits. Congratulations! You are done with wiring.

How to replace Marine Rocker Switch Covers: DIY Approaches
If your MRS is damaged or you want to change it as you renovate your boat. The method is very simple and can be done using various DIY approaches. But before starting with any approach given below, it’s necessary to ensure the power source is unplugged.

Using a screwdriver: Using a screwdriver is an easy and effective way to remove the cover of your button if it is not damaged. Place the screwdriver between the button and cover and apply little pressure. The cover will poop up, but in case it is struck, provide hot air with an air dryer to lose the adhesive grip.

Using Paperclip: A paper clip is a suitable replacement for the screwdriver. Get a paperclip, and straighten it into the cover’s hole. Now gently apply pressure, move around the edges, and loosen up the grip. Once it is loose, you can remove it easily.

Though replacing the cover is easy, depending on the switch type and condition, sometimes it can be tricky. To ensure you can do it well, the video below can be extremely helpful.

What’s the difference between automotive and marine rocker switches?

Rocker switches use is common. From houses to boats and cars, they can be seen everywhere. We have already discussed the MRS in the above sections. But when it comes to automotive RS, they are specifically designed for automobiles and differ from the marine.

Marine buttons are used in the marine environment. Thus, they encounter challenges like saltwater and humidity.  So as compared to automotive, they are designed specifically to withstand these challenges and are more durable and reliable.

Furthermore, the presences of water make marine more prone to corrosion. The material used in manufacturing marine differs from automotive switches in their corrosion resistance.

The Bottom Line

MRS are indeed the best switch options for your watercraft. They include specific manufacturing practices and materials to provide more safe and convenient operations. They come in various types that depend on your operational needs.

Additionally, Lighted MRS provides more visibility and easy operations. Their installation could be tricky. But by using proper tools and following the above-given guidelines, you can efficiently wire your MRS.

However, whatever you do, from changing switch covers to installing new switches, ensure you fulfill all the necessary safety prerequisites. Happy Boating.


Hello, my name is Eva Xia, and I am currently the Marketing Manager at Yueqing Weup Technology Co., Ltd, located in Wenzhou, Zhejiang, China. With over a decade of experience in the accounting field, I have developed extensive knowledge and skills that enable me to excel in my role. Additionally, I have spent two years working as an English teacher, which enhanced my communication abilities and instilled discipline within me.

Having gained more than three years of valuable experience in overseas sales, I have had the opportunity to expand my horizons and develop a deeper understanding of the commercial landscape. This exposure has nurtured my business understanding and allowed me to navigate diverse markets confidently.

However, despite my accomplishments thus far, I remain dedicated to continuous growth and learning. My current area of focus revolves around electronic switches. It is a fascinating and dynamic field that constantly evolves with technological advancements. By delving deeper into this realm, I aim to enhance my professional knowledge and stay ahead of industry trends.

In summary, as a Marketing Manager at Yueqing Weup Technology Co., Ltd., I bring forth a wealth of experience in accounting coupled with the valuable skills honed during my time as an English teacher. Furthermore, my extensive overseas sales expertise has sharpened my business acumen. With a relentless thirst for knowledge and a specific interest in electronic switches, I strive to enhance my professional capabilities further while contributing positively to our organization’s success.

Get in Touch for More Insights!

If you’ve found the information helpful and want to learn more, I encourage you to reach out. Whether your questions concern our latest industry trends, electronic switches, or other market insights, I’m here to help!

Don’t hesitate to drop me an email at the below table.

I am looking forward to hearing from you soon!

Eva Xia,
Marketing Manager at Yueqing Weup Technology Co., Ltd

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