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A Starter is a device that controls the use of electrical power to equipment, usually a motor. As the name implies, starters "start" motors. They can also stop them, reverse them, and protect them. Starters are made from two building blocks, Contactors and Overload Protection.

1. Contactors control the electric current to the motor. Their function is to repeatedly establish and interrupt an electrical power circuit.

2. Overload Protection protects motors from drawing too much current, overheating, and from literally "burning out".

A starter turns an electric motor or motor controlled electrical equipment on or off, while providing overload protection. Starters represent another evolution in motor control applications. The two main types of starters are Manual Starters and AC Magnetic Motor Starters, commonly known as Motor Starters.