Understanding Time Delay Relay Functions

Issue:

What's the difference between On Delay, Off Delay, Single Shot, Interval On and all these other time delay functions?

Solution/Resolution:

Understanding the differences between all the functions available in time delay relays can sometimes be a daunting task. When designing circuits using time delay relays, questions such as what initiates a time delay relay, does the timing start with the application or release of voltage, when is the output relay energized, etc., must be asked.

Time delay relays are simply control relays with a time delay built in. Their purpose is to control an event based on time. The difference between relays and time delay relays is when the output contacts open & close: on a control relay, it happens when voltage is applied and removed from the coil; on time delay relays, the contacts can open or close before or after some time delay.

Typically, time delay relays are initiated or triggered by one of two methods:

  • application of input voltage
  • opening or closing of a trigger signal

These trigger signals can be one of two designs:

  • a control switch (dry contact), i.e., limit switch, push button, float switch, etc.
  • voltage (commonly known as a power trigger)

CAUTION: any time delay relay that is designed to be initiated with a dry contact control switch trigger could be damaged if voltage is applied to the trigger switch terminals.  Only products that have a "power trigger" should be used with voltage as the trigger.

To help understand, some definitions are important:

  • Input Voltage-control voltage applied to the input terminals. Depending on the function, input voltage will either initiate the unit or make it ready to initiate when a trigger is applied.
  • Trigger Signal-on certain timing functions, a trigger is used to initiate the unit after input voltage has been applied. As noted above, this trigger can either be a control switch (dry contact switch) or a power trigger (voltage).
  • Output (Load)-every time delay relay has an output (either mechanical relay or solid state) that will open & close to control the load. Note that the user must provide the voltage to power the load being switched by the output contacts of the time delay relay.

Below are both written and visual descriptions on how the common timing functions operate. A Timing Chart shows the relationship between Input Voltage, Trigger (if present) and Output. If you cannot find a product to fit your requirements or have any questions, Macromatic's Application Engineers offer technical information along with product selection and application assistance. Either e-mail or call us at 800-238-7474 for help.

Function Operation Timing Chart
ON DELAY
Delay on Make
Delay on Operate
Upon application of input voltage, the time delay (t) begins. At the end of the time delay (t), the output is energized. Input voltage must be removed to reset the time delay relay & de-energize the output. timer relay on delay chart
INTERVAL ON
Interval
Upon application of input voltage, the output is energized and the time delay (t) begins. At the end of the time delay (t), the output is de-energized. Input voltage must be removed to reset the time delay relay. timing relays interval on
OFF DELAY
Delay on Release
Delay on Break
Delay on De-Energization
Upon application of input voltage, the time delay relay is ready to accept a trigger. When the trigger is applied, the output is energized. Upon removal of the trigger, the time delay (t) begins. At the end of the time delay (t), the output is de-energized. Any application of the trigger during the time delay will reset the time delay (t) and the output remains energized. timer relay off delay chart
SINGLE SHOT
One Shot
Momentary Interval
Upon application of input voltage, the time delay relay is ready to accept a trigger. When the trigger is applied, the output is energized and the time delay (t) begins. During the time delay (t), the trigger is ignored. At the end of the time delay (t), the output is de-energized and the time delay relay is ready to accept another trigger. timing relay single shot chart
FLASHER
(Off First)
Upon application of input voltage, the time delay (t) begins. At the end of the time delay (t), the output is energized and remains in that condition for the time delay (t). At the end of the time delay (t), the output is de-energized and the sequence repeats until input voltage is removed. timing relays flasher off first chart
FLASHER
(On First)
Upon application of input voltage, the output is energized and the time delay (t) begins. At the end of the time delay (t), the output is de-energized and remains in that condition for the time delay (t). At the end of the time delay (t), the output is energized and the sequence repeats until input voltage is removed. timing relays flasher on first chart
ON/OFF DELAY Upon application of input voltage, the time delay relay is ready to accept a trigger. When the trigger is applied, the time delay (t1) begins. At the end of the time delay (t1), the output is energized. When the trigger is removed, the output contacts remain energized for the time delay (t2). At the end of the time delay (t2), the output is de-energized & the time delay relay is ready to accept another trigger. If the trigger is removed during time delay period (t1), the output will remain de-energized and time delay (t1) will reset. If the trigger is re-applied during time delay period (t2), the output will remain energized and the time delay (t2) will reset. timing relays on off delay chart
SINGLE SHOT FALLING EDGE Upon application of input voltage, the time delay relay is ready to accept a trigger. When the trigger is applied, the output remains de-energized. Upon removal of the trigger, the output is energized and the time delay (t) begins. At the end of the time delay (t), the output is de-energized unless the trigger is removed and re-applied prior to time out (before time delay (t) elapses). Continuous cycling of the trigger at a rate faster than the time delay (t) will cause the output to remain energized indefinitely. timer relays single shot falling edge chart
WATCHDOG
Retriggerable Single Shot
Upon application of input voltage, the time delay relay is ready to accept a trigger. When the trigger is applied, the output is energized and the time delay (t) begins. At the end of the time delay (t), the output is de-energized unless the trigger is removed and re-applied prior to time out (before time delay (t) elapses). Continuous cycling of the trigger at a rate faster than the time delay (t) will cause the output to remain energized indefinitely. timing relays watchdog retriggerable single shot
TRIGGERED ON DELAY Upon application of input voltage, the time delay relay is ready to accept a trigger. When the trigger is applied, the time delay (t) begins. At the end of the time delay (t), the output is energized and remains in that condition as long as either the trigger is applied or the input voltage remains. If the trigger is removed during the time delay (t), the output remains de-energized & the time delay (t) is reset. timer relays triggered on delay chart
REPEAT CYCLE
(OFF 1st)
Upon application of input voltage, the time delay (t1) begins. At the end of the time delay (t1), the output is energized and remains in that condition for the time delay (t2). At the end of this time delay, the output is de-energized and the sequence repeats until input voltage is removed. timing relays repeat cycle off first chart
REPEAT CYCLE
(ON 1st)
Upon application of input voltage, the output is energized and the time delay (t1) begins. At the end of the time delay (t1), the output is de-energized and remains in that condition for the time delay (t2). At the end of this time delay, the output is energized and the sequence repeats until input voltage is removed. timing relays repeat cycle on first chart
DELAYED INTERVAL
Single Cycle
Upon application of input voltage, the time delay (t1) begins. At the end of the time delay (t1), the output is energized and remains in that condition for the time delay (t2). At the end of this time delay (t2), the output is de-energized. Input voltage must be removed to reset the time delay relay. timer relays delayed interval single cycle chart
TRIGGERED DELAYED INTERVAL
Single Cycle
Upon application of input voltage, the time delay relay is ready to accept a trigger. When the trigger is applied, the time delay (t1) begins. At the end of the time delay (t1), the output is energized and remains in that condition for the time delay (t2). At the end of the time delay (t2), the output is de-energized & the relay is ready to accept another trigger. During both time delay (t1) & time delay (t2), the trigger is ignored. timing relays  triggered delayed interval chart
TRUE OFF DELAY Upon application of input voltage, the output is energized. When the input voltage is removed, the time delay (t) begins. At the end of the time delay (t), the output is de-energized. Input voltage must be applied for a minimum of 0.5 seconds to assure proper operation. Any application of the input voltage during the time delay (t) will reset the time delay. No external trigger is required. timer relay true off delay chart
ON DELAY/ TRUE OFF DELAY Upon application of input voltage, the time delay (t1) begins. At the end of the time delay (t1), the output is energized. When the input voltage is removed, the output remains energized for the time delay (t2). At the end of the time delay (t2), the output is de-energized. Input voltage must be applied for a minimum of 0.5 seconds to assure proper operation. Any application of the input voltage during the time delay (t2) will keep the output energized & reset the time delay (t2). No external trigger is required. timer relays on delay true off delay chart
SINGLE SHOT-FLASHER Upon application of input voltage, the time delay relay is ready to accept a trigger. When the trigger is applied, the time delay (t1) begins and the output is energized for the time delay (t2). At the end of this time delay (t2), the output is de-energized and remains in that condition for the time delay (t2). At the end of the time delay (t2), the output is energized and the sequence repeats until time delay (t1) is completed. During the time delay (t1), the trigger is ignored. timing relays single shot flasher chart
ON DELAY-FLASHER Upon application of input voltage, the time delay begins (t1). At the end of the time delay (t1), the output is energized and remains in that condition for the time delay (t2). At the end of this time delay (t2), the output is de-energized and remains in that condition for the time delay (t2). At the end of the time delay (t2), the output is energized and the sequence repeats until input voltage is removed. timing relays on delay flasher chart