potentiometer or rheostat?

This topic contains 3 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Earl Jameson 1 year, 1 month ago.

  • Author
    Posts
  • #7785

    Earl Jameson
    Participant

    Hey there, I don’t really understand the difference between potentiometers and rheostats? They seem pretty similar to me…


  • #7786
    Joe L
    Joe L
    Galco Representative

    Hey Earl,

    You’re in luck! GalcoTV has produced “What is?” Videos for both components!

    What is a Potentiometer? and What is a Rheostat?

    Let me know if you are interested in a more technical explanation, but start with these and we will go from there. 🙂


  • #7789
    John C
    John C
    Galco Representative

    Hello Earl, just saw the post here and thought I would add to Joe’s post for you.

    Rheostats and a potentiometer are very similar devices, they are both forms of a variable resistor. Rheostats are generally wire wound for higher wattage ratings than pots are. A big pot is 2 watts, but a big rheostat is 200 watts. Potentiometers come in very small sizes too, sometimes call “Trim Pots”. Both pots and rheostats are usually 3 terminal devices with, and the center terminal is usually the wiper, the 2 outside terminals are each end of the resistor itself.
    Hope this helps you, and like Joe said, check out the Videos “What is a potentiometer?” and “What is a Rheostat?”


  • #7791

    Earl Jameson
    Participant

    Thank you very much for the help Joe L and John C! Very easy to understand now.


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