Panelmount switches: how many ONs and OFFs?

Hi all, I have some troubles with an electrical plant and I have to turn electricity on and off many times per day from a C16 breaker +
differential breaker (I hope the English terms are correct), panelmount, 220V. How many ups and downs is such a thing expected to withstand?
Is it better to trip it down with the differential breaker test-button or with a finger?
Alternatively, I could trip this electrical counter http://show.simpload.com/11104918410fbcab0.jpeg?server=s3 but I would prefer the C16/differential because it is mine. Unless you tell me that this counter is expected to withstand really many more ons and offs.
Thanks in advance
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I doubt there would be any difference but have no direct experience that way.

Normally, not many w/r to using it as an on/off switch if it isn't designed to do so normally. I can't get my head around exactly what you have but I assume it has to have a breaker-like action to it. That is always advised against. Unless you have a breaker made spefically to withstand that kind of use, you should find another way. The bimetal strengths change due to the stress-activity and the contact surfaces wear (arc) and corrode very quickly under constant switching conditions. With a run of the mill breaker, you may get anywhere from one or two more switches with it to a month or more before it starts to run into false-overload trips, heating issues, even in some very seldom occurring instances, a failure to trip until the I gets substantially above the rated current (contact welding, in other words). Based on the lack of information given, you would have to check with the mfg of the part. That's a much better source than a newsgroup anyway, where each poster, including me quite often, feels that their own experiences are "typical".
HTH
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Twayne wrote:

Thank you for your really thorough reply.
The C 16A + differential breaker I have is an ABB DS642 It is roughly similar to the one in the first picture here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circuit_breaker except that I can't see the test button in the picture. The "differential" thing I was talking about was probably a mistaken term, now I understand that the english name is "Earth leakage circuit breaker" (ELCB), so mine would be a "C-curve 16A + ELCB breaker".
Today I went around on the Internet looking for the specifications of my breaker, as you suggested. I couldn't find them for that breaker exactly, however many breakers of that class seem to indicate that they have "mechanical (service) life" of 20,000 operations, and an electrical service life of 10,000 operations.
E.g. here: http://www02.abb.com/global/inabb/inabb509.nsf/0/134a471b4d3305d66525719d0016f158 /$file/Line+Protection+Devices.pdf
Now I don't understand anything anymore. Is the "service life" the value I am looking for, or is it something else? Do you think it is overstated?
What is the difference of mechanical vs electrical service life? Am I correct saying that if I am pressing the test button or going over 16A and it trips, that is electrical, while if I pull it down with a finger that is mechanical?
Thanks for your help
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Twayne wrote:

This is useful information Now I am switching it off with the finger. And before doing that I turn off every electrical load in the house, so that current does not pass through the thermomagnetic switch while I am switching it off or on. In this way there should be no spark... Thank you
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