Relays are mechanic switches that are switch electrically.
They are a cheap way to switch a high voltage/current load that would cost a lot more to switch with a semiconductor. They have mechanical wear and tear though.
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Just a schematic of the relay component for this page. I’m not sure that there is a standard schematic diagram for relays. So I made this one based on some similar ones I seen. The schematics for relays that I come across tend to be drawn in a way that fits the rest of the circuit well, so they vary a bit.
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