Resistive: What is this contact rating?

July 10, 2018
Tech Tuesday

The previous blog post I wrote investigated what an “electronic ballast” type of load is. Let’s continue with this theme of load definitions! How about resistive loads this time? What’s the definition of a resistive load? What are some examples? Where can the ratings be seen on our datasheets? Read on to learn!


A load in the “resistive” category usually means that there’s a bit of heat made as a by-product of the load’s activation. Resistive loads do not generate a magnetic field when activated like an electric motor would. In a resistive load, the consumption of electrical power/current is constant and predictable.


What are some examples of resistive loads? Recall that I said resistive loads create heat. In a residential setting, a resistive load can be a space heater or an electric oven/range. In a commercial setting, a resistive load can be a furnace heating coil or an incandescent light bulb (the bulbs from the good old days). All of these are all great examples of resistive loads!

Our Relay Devices

The relay devices we manufacture can handle resistive loads. In fact, a resistive load is probably one of the better applications for our products! Resistive loads are predictable and typically don’t have wacky reactions when they are activated/deactivated. Below, you can see a lineup of the specifications listed for 10A, 20A, and 30A RIB relays, respectively. Circled in those listed specifications are the maximum ratings for resistive loads.

So, there you have it. A quick explanation of what resistive loads are! I hope this helps you to make a wise choice of relay device for your next controls project. If you have any hesitations or want to double check your choice of relay device that’s best for your project, go ahead and give us a call. Our support team will be happy to make a recommendation!

Author Image

About the Author

Meet Samuel Klennert – you can call him Sam. He was born and raised amongst the farmland of Indiana, which included corn, soybeans, and sometimes wheat. Sam graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelors degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology in 2015. He has a focus in analog circuitry and power electronics, but he’ll give software a try from time to time – just not that digital witchcraft!

Outside of work, Sam enjoys outdoor activities including (but not limited to) hiking, mountain biking (or just really-big-hill biking), and camping. Call Sam for tech support today – he’ll give his best effort to any task at hand!