Being aware of the different circuit breaker types is imperative to avoid damaged outlets, frequent power outages, and electrical fires. From residential to industrial, the types of breakers ovary and are designed to serve the specific purpose for the given environment.
Different Types of Circuit Breakers
There are three basic circuit breakers known as follows:
- Standard breakers include both single-pole and double-pole circuit breakers.
- Ground fault circuit interrupter circuit breakers, also known as GFCIs.
- Arc fault circuit interrupter circuit breakers, also known as AFCIs.
Types of Residential Circuit Breakers
Single-pole circuit breakers:
These circuit breaker types are found most often in homes and are named single-pole because they are designed to monitor the current of a single wire and trip in the event of a short or electrical overload.
Double-Pole Circuit Breakers
This electrical breaker type is twice as large as the single-pole circuit breaker and requires much more room in a panel. They provide a 240-volt service and are designed to serve power-hungry lines that single-poles cannot handle since their amperage capacity ranges from 20 to 60 amps.
The ground fault circuit interrupter breakers are designed to protect against a line-to-ground fault. GFCI circuit breakers and GFCI outlets help prevent electrical shorts or overloaded currents and are most commonly installed in rooms with water or moisture, such as:
- Laundry rooms
- Pool decks
- Back porches
Arc fault circuit interrupters prevent arc faults, which often happen when wires and terminals get damaged. They are suited for bedrooms and living rooms.
This electrical breaker type fulfills the purpose of both AFCI and GFCI breakers because they can protect against arc faults and ground faults at the same time. They are recommended in newer homes for their easy installation and protection against most electrical hazards.
This type of breaker is an excellent choice for residences and provides the accessibility needed for quick repairs by homeowners when problems are detected.
These are known to be user-friendly and are capable of detecting and addressing issues immediately. They provide higher safety levels and alert homeowners when electrical issues are present.
Types of Industrial Circuit Breakers
Industrial vacuum circuit breakers have a vacuum chamber where the arc will be directed once abnormal electrical conditions arise.
This heavy-duty circuit breaker can handle up to 10,000 amps and voltages up to 450V, making it well-suited for industrial environments such as most factories, ships, and industrial and commercial buildings. This breaker works by directly using the air to trigger the contacts responsible for interrupting arcs.
These industrial types of circuit breakers are called SF6 (sulfur hexafluoride) gas breakers and use that particular type of electronegative gas to perform their function. They safeguard the electrical lines of facilities against possible damage from lightning. The circuit breaker releases SF6 once the fault occurs, which then prevents the arc from progressing.
Eaton breakers can provide both low and medium-voltage solutions for either residential or commercial needs.
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Call us today for a free quote or contact us online, where our circuit breaker specialists will help answer all your questions, ensuring that you select the right fit from the vast range of circuit breaker types.