Circuit breakers are a great invention that has been protecting our homes for many years and they are doing a great job. There are many things that you can learn about how this technology works and we are going to give you a short explanation about that. Let’s learn something more about how circuit breakers protect your electrical system.

Overcurrent protection

The circuit breaker protects your home from fires and it does that by stopping the flow of electricity in the circuit. If there is too much current in a circuit for any reason whatsoever that will trigger the breaker, and you will lose power in the house. There are many reasons why this could happen. If you are plugging too many devices into one circuit, that can draw more current from the circuit. Also, if the electrical system is not properly installed, if a hot wire comes into contact with a neutral or ground wire, it can cause a short circuit, which can result in damaging the appliance or causing a fire. If you have faulty appliances, this can also be a cause of why this occurs.

Load interrupter switch

Load interrupter switches and circuit breakers serve similar roles, but they are different in design, application, and operation. These switches are primarily designed to interrupt and disconnect electrical loads. Substations, industrial facilities, and distribution systems use a load interrupter switch for that purpose. Capacitor banks, overhead distribution lines, switching transformers, and other applications where load switching is necessary can all benefit from the ability of this device to break load currents.

Types of circuit breakers

Circuit breakers, which are simply switching inside a breaker box, protect your home against overheating and fire. It is a safety device that cuts power to a circuit in case of an overload or short circuit. 

Single-pole circuit breaker

Today, most residential circuit breakers are single-pole models. They are called single-pole because their design is such that they can only sense the current flowing through a single wire and will trip if there is an overload or short. 

Double-pole circuit breaker

Unlike single-pole circuit breakers, double-pole circuit breakers can monitor two wires’ current simultaneously. They resemble a single breaker with two switches attached side by side, so you can distinguish between them. This sort of breaker will trip if the load gets too great or if any of the wires are shorted.

Oil circuit breaker

Oil Circuit Breakers (OCBs) are specific kinds of circuit breakers that use oil as an insulating medium or dielectric to put out electrical arcs. This high-voltage circuit breaker type has been around for a long time and relies heavily on transformer oil. Compared to air, the oil used to make these circuit breakers is a significantly superior insulator. Submerging the CB contacts in oil prevents the arc from rekindling when they separate. 

Residual current circuit breaker

The residual current circuit breaker cuts power to the circuit as soon as it senses current leaking to the ground. It is a popular home appliance safety feature as it prevents electrical harm to electrical appliances. It is also a safety measure that reduces the risk of shocks and unintentional electrocution. 

Air circuit breaker

The air is the medium for this type of circuit breaker, and it can go up to 15KV. There are two types of these breakers and they include plain air and airblast circuit breakers. 

GFCI circuit breaker

An electrical fire may happen when an electrical current forms a channel from a grounded device to the ground, which is why line-to-ground faults are so deadly. Ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) circuit breakers protect against such electrical shorts and overloads. They are perfect for spaces that are prone to moisture, such as laundry rooms and bathrooms

AFCI circuit breaker

Whenever an electrical cable is frayed, there is a major fire hazard. However, an AFCI circuit breaker will trip in such cases and protect your home or company from any bigger issues. In some states, the electrical code requires homes to include AFCI breakers as part of the household.

They are resettable

Unlike fuses, breakers do not need to be changed after they have been activated. This means that you do not need to replace them; you would just turn them back to their first position. If the breaker immediately goes down as you flip it up, that most likely means that you either have a faulty electrical system or that a faulty appliance is causing it to act in that way. You can check this by unplugging some appliances that are on that breaker and turning the electricity on; if the breaker does not activate, that means the appliance you unplugged is at fault.

Selective coordination

What is great about circuit breakers is that there are many of them and all the circuits in the home are divided into them. This means that, for example, all the appliances that are in your bathroom are hooked up on one circuit, from the bedroom to another, and so on. When one circuit breaks the current, you will know where the fault approximately is and that will make it easier for you to find it. If the main circuit breaker trips, that means that most likely you have a bigger problem. If you are not sure what you need to do, the best thing to do is to call an electrician. 

Fire protection

The main reason why this device exists is to prevent fires and other hazards inside a property. This small thing has managed to save countless lives and prevent fire hazards which would lead to someone’s complete livelihood being engulfed in flames. 

messed up circuit breaker can cause a fire in your home. Photo by Jen Theodore via unsplash

A reliable home circuit breaker protects you, your family, and your possessions from any unexpected dangers. Even though they may not be as captivating as you think, you should still learn the most you can about their uses, different types, and importance. Installing the right sort of circuit breaker eliminates threats like electrical fires, so you can be sure your home is safe from such dangers if you choose the right type.