Deliver Your News to the World Providing Real World Advice in the Field of Circuit Breakers


Established online electrical supply house is a leader in providing practical real-world advice to the electrical community in the field of circuit breakers and electrical safety components. These electrical experts spend a great deal of time working with the country’s electrical contractors and identifying just the right circuit breaker or electrical component for the job at hand.

In continually dealing with the questions and dilemmas that face today’s electricians, the team has identified some critical circuit breaker basics that they have found especially helpful in choosing the right breaker for the project at hand. Understanding how circuit breakers are classified and how to choose the correct electrical protection device for the job can save a great deal of time, money, and aggravation for the project manager.

Choosing just the right circuit breaker for any project involves several variables. Over-specified circuit breakers can result in dangerous fires, equipment damage, and injury to the operator. Under-specified breakers result in frequent nuisance tripping, which creates machinery downtime and waste of personnel time. In order to narrow down the selection of circuit breaker, it is important for the electrician or electrical engineer to ponder a number of questions about the project:

*What is actually to be protected and what are the consequences of receiving too much current?
*Have all the sources and paths of current surges been identified and their relative importance decided?
*What is the constant current needed for the application?
*Is this a single or multi phase breaker and how many poles are necessary?
*Is an ac or dc voltage rating needed?
*What is the necessary short circuit or interrupting capacity for protection?
*Is a specific certification or agency regulation necessary?
*What are the environmental conditions that need to be factored in?
*Are there any space or size constraints in mounting the circuit breaker?

The general industry rule is to choose a circuit breaker rated for 100% of the continuous electrical load. If current surges last longer than one minute, then the circuit breaker should be rated to handle 100% of the surge current. The engineer also needs to look at factors such as start up current and any expected stressors on the electrical system.

The team at also recommends that the type of circuit breaker technology be taken into account when choosing electrical protection components. Circuit-breakers use two basic core technologies. Thermal circuit breakers use the change in length of wire or the distortion of a bimetallic strip to interrupt the circuit. Magnetic breakers use the magnetic field of the load passing through a coil to determine when to break the circuit. Thermal-magnetic circuit breakers combine these technologies in a single device. Each breaker type has its advantages and indications for use.

Thermal circuit breaker considerations:

*For the most part are immune to power quality & frequency
*Breaker sensing works for both AC and DC currents.
*Tolerant of location and attitude making them very flexible for positioning.
*Quite robust and are used frequently in aerospace applications.
*Less prone to nuisance tripping then other circuit breaker types
*Handle shock and vibrations well.
*Tend to be slower to trip than magnetic breakers.
*The most cost effective circuit breaker solution.

Magnetic circuit breaker considerations:

*Trip level is sensitive to ambient temperature
*Can be designed with two-slope time/current curves
*A wide variety of delays are available.
*Trip instantaneously in short circuit situations.
*Can be designed to resist sudden inrush surges.
Can be manufactured with a wide range of delays
*Can be designed to meet extreme electrical and environmental conditions. has a rich inventory of thermal, magnetic, thermal-magnetic, and high performance circuit breakers in stock to meet every application and regulatory specification. Experienced industry professionals are available from 8am to 5pm Pacific Time Monday through Friday to answer questions and assist with selection of the right circuit breaker for the job.

This quality electrical distributor also offers a wide selection of motor controls, transformers, transfer switches, bus plugs, and other electrical supplies for immediate shipment. Visit their website at to request a quote or to check pricing and availability by model number.


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