What is Circuit Breaker?
A circuit breaker is an electrical switch, automatically-operated that is designed to protect an electrical circuit from damage that is caused by an overload of electricity or short circuit. Circuit breakers are made up of a series of small circuits put together within larger circuits. These allow electrical charges to freely flow into a controlled system with even currents.
When the power is turned on, the circuit breaker will allow the power to pass from the bottom end to the top end. In cases where the current is said to have reached an unsafe level, the magnetic force within the solenoid is powerful enough to move a metal lever in the switch mechanism. This will break the current and stop the flow of electricity.
Differences Among Overcurrents, Overloads, and Short Circuits
- Overcurrents: This is an electric current above what is considered to be normal or safe. An overcurrent can be caused by overloading the circuit or by a short circuit and could cause the circuit wiring to overheat. This could lead to the melting of the insulation and as result cause a fire.
- Overloads: Circuit overloads happen when one tries to use more electricity than one’s circuit is made for. In the event of a circuit overload, the circuit breaker will trip and then open up. This will cause the power supply to that circuit to be turned off, thus cutting off electricity.
- Short Circuits: Short circuits occur when an electric current flows down the wrong or unexpected path with little to no electrical resistance.
When comparing the above one can say that an overload is a type of overcurrent. Overload occurs when equipment draws more than the usual current from the supply and occurs when the number of devices joint in a single socket is at a higher capacity.
Short circuits occur when there is a fault between the line to earth and they usually take place when neutral and live wire touch each other.
Fuses vs Circuit Breakers
The most common type of fuse is a metal wire or filament that comes in a ceramic or glass and metal casing and is most likely plugged into the fuse box within a house when electricity is received from. With electricity flowing, the fuse allows the power to pass across the filament and between the relevant circuits.
When an electricity overload occurs, the metal filament will melt, causing the flow of electricity to stop. Circuit breakers on the other hand automatically flip which breaks the circuit.
Both circuit breakers and fuses are ways of preventing an electrical overload from occurring and harming one’s electrical grid and they both prevent this from happening in different ways.
One of the main differences between fuses and circuit breakers is in the way that they provide protection. Fuses protect against an overload of electricity, while circuit breakers protect against electricity overloads as well as short circuits, meaning that one may experience better surge protection with the use of a circuit breaker.
5 Basic Designs and Components of Circuit Breaker
There are 5 basic design components of a circuit breaker known as the following:
1. External casing
Which has three types:
This type of casing is used in low voltage circuit breakers.
These are used in circuit breakers known for medium voltage and amperage.
These are used for the higher end of the medium-rated circuit breakers.
2. Electrical contacts
Electrical contact can be seen as an electrically controlled switch that completes or interrupts a circuit influencing an electrical current. They carry higher current loads and are designed to be directly connected to high voltage feeds.
3. Electrical arc extinguishing mechanism
An arc can occur when a circuit becomes overloaded with electricity. An arc extinguisher is the component of the circuit breaker that puts out an arc when the contacts are opened.
4. Main operating mechanisms
This mechanism provides a way of opening and closing the circuit breaker.
5. Trip elements
A thermal trip element circuit breaker uses a bimetallic element that is heated by the load current and is made from strips of two different metals put together and expand at different levels as they are heated.
The purpose of a trip element is to trip or open the operating mechanism in the event of a prolonged overload or short circuit fault condition such as a thermal overload or short circuit current.
Why Choose Us?
Circuit breakers play an essential role in the safety of homes and businesses. Without reliable circuit breakers, there is an increased risk of electrical fires. Electric Supply Distribution has an outstanding selection of circuit breakers.
Some of the circuit breakers we offer include:
- Square-D Breakers: These were first brought to the market in 1955 and are always a great choice for homeowners. They provide the accessibility needed for quick repairs that can be done by homeowners when issues arise.
- Cutler-Hammer Breakers: This choice of circuit breaker provides a user-friendly experience and is capable of detecting and resolving issues immediately. The Cutler-Hammer Breaker promotes higher levels of safety and notifies homeowners when there are electrical issues present that need attention.
Our selection at Electric Supply Distribution is not limited to circuit breakers as we offer the best in accessories too like circuit breakers parts and more. With ESD one will receive competitive prices, ensuring that their home and business have access to high-quality electrical features for all operations.
How Circuit Breakers Work
Circuit breakers are necessary to ensure safe electrical currents within homes and businesses. They are comprised of multiple small circuits within a large circuit and allow electrical charges to flow in a controlled system.
If there is too strong of an electrical current flowing through the circuit, the circuit breaker kicks in and cuts off the power until the issue is resolved. Circuit breakers are essential for the safe use of power in homes and businesses. They let homeowners know when there is a surplus of power within the circuit and also when there are circuit breaker issues that need to be resolved.
Circuit Breaker at Home
As a homeowner, it is important to understand the features and basic operation of your home’s circuit breakers and the electrical panel (or breaker box) that they are housed in.
Thankfully, circuit breakers at home are generally pretty straightforward to use and can be easily found in the utility room or garage.
Understanding how your home’s circuit breaker works will enable you to troubleshoot circuit breaker issues and turn the power back on when you’ve safely resolved the issue.
We’d advise you to read the manual that comes with your home’s electrical panel to become familiar with its functions and switches in case you encounter any issues with your circuit breaker box.
Types of Circuit Breakers
There are many different types of circuit breakers available for home or business owners.
At Electrical Surplus Distribution, we offer a wide range of high-end circuit breakers. Our goal is to provide you with the best circuit breaker for your needs and safety.
Some of the types of circuit breakers we offer include:
1. Square-D Breakers
Square-D breakers were first introduced to the market in 1955 and are popular choices for residences. Square-D circuit breakers are said to be the fastest opening breaker on the market — enabling homeowners to respond quickly when circuit breaker issues arise.
Find Electrical Surplus Distribution’s Square-D circuit breakers.
2. Cutler-Hammer Breakers
Cutler-Hammer breakers are one of the most intuitive models available.
They are able to detect and respond to issues instantly by interrupting the flow of electricity in the circuit. This function promotes greater safety and lets homeowners know when their circuit breaker is having an issue.
View our selection of Cutler Hammer breakers.
A molded case circuit breaker (MCCB) protects your circuit from overload, electrical fault protection (instant response to short circuit issues), and gives you a manual electrical switch to immediately disconnect if you are facing an emergency situation.
To shop our selection of MCCB breakers, click here.
4. Eaton Breakers
Eaton provides low and medium-voltage circuit breakers. These are manufactured both for residences and commercial usage.
Some of the Eaton breakers offered at Electrical Surplus Distribution include the following models:
View our full selection of Eaton circuit breakers.
5. Siemens Circuit Breakers
Siemens quick-detection circuit breakers offer immediate interruption to current flow when a fault is detected. This ensures that your home is safe and has one of the most intuitive circuit breakers ready to cut off electrical supply when necessary.
Click to shop our selection of Siemens circuit breakers.
GE Circuit Breakers
GE is one of the most well-known electrical products providers. At Electrical Surplus Distribution, we offer a range of GE circuit breakers including:
- And more!
Shop our selection of GE circuit breakers.
Circuit Breakers and Accessories
At Electrical Surplus Distribution, we not only offer high-end circuit breakers, but we also offer a large selection of accessories too.
We aim to bring high-quality electrical products such as circuit breakers and accessories to the market at competitive prices so that home and business owners can have quality electrical features installed in their establishments.
Contact Electrical Surplus Distribution Today!
If you are hoping to have a high-quality residential circuit breakers installed at your home or commercial circuit breakers, give Electrical Surplus Distribution a call.
Our circuit breaker specialists would be happy to answer your questions and direct you to the best circuit breaker for your needs.
If you have any questions about our selection of circuit breakers, industrial electrical supplies, accessories, residential electric products or services contact us today.
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