Circuitbreakerservice.com: Providing Practical Information on Circuit Breaker Technology for both the Novice and Expert Electrician.
Leading electrical supply house Circuitbreakerservice.com knows the importance of a solid foundation of understanding when working with circuit breakers and other essential electrical supplies. Circuit breakers are the modern update of the old one-time-use fuse and are an integral component of every electrical project. These devices protect electrical systems from current overload by interrupting or “tripping” the circuit so that current can no longer flow, thus preventing dangerous fires, equipment damage, and electrocution injuries.
The team at Circuitbreakerservice.com knows that it is crucial for the novice electrician to have a good working knowledge of how circuit breakers work. A good review of circuit breaker principles can also be helpful for the experienced electrical contractor when in the process of choosing the electrical protection devices for an upcoming project. With these thoughts in mind, Circuitbreakerservice.com has prepared the following information regarding the mechanics of circuit breakers to share with the electrical community, and in addition, always welcomes questions and comments from its valued customers and interested parties.
A circuit breaker is an automatic electrical switch that protects electrical circuits from damage caused by an overload of current. Unlike its predecessor the fuse, which has to be replaced after being tripped once, a circuit breaker can be reset (either manually or automatically) to resume normal function. Circuit breakers come in various sizes, from small breakers for protection of individual household appliances to large switchgear breakers designed to protect high voltage power grids that keep entire cities running.
The basic circuit breaker consists of a simple switch connected to either an electromagnet (magnetic circuit breakers) or a bimetallic strip (thermal circuit breakers). The hot wire in the circuit connects to the two ends of the switch. When the switch is flipped to the on position, electricity can flow freely through the circuit. For Magnetic breakers, the electromagnet becomes magnetized by the electrical current running through the circuit. The increasing current boosts the magnetic force. When electrical current hits dangerous levels, the electromagnet has become strong enough to pull down a lever connected to a switch linkage. The entire linkage shifts, separating the moving contact away from a stationary contact to open the circuit. The electricity then shuts off until the problem is addressed.
The thermal circuit breaker works along the same principles, except instead of the magnet, an overload of current bends a thin bimetallic strip which then moves the linkage assembly and breaks the circuit. Some newer breakers use an explosive charge that ignites when the current gets too high to move the switch mechanism. Auto-reclose circuit breakers will automatically close the circuit for a limited amount of times to keep down time to a minimum. It is important to choose a circuit breaker rated for 100% of the continuous current, or if surges longer than one minute are usual, for 100% of the surge current.
These are just some of the basic principles that all circuit breakers operate by. Knowing how and why circuit breakers do what they do is essential when planning protection for any electrical job, whether it is residential, commercial, industrial, or a power plant application. Circuitbreakerservice.com keeps a large inventory of thermal, magnetic, and other breakers in stock from the world’s top manufacturers. Virtually every model of GE breaker, Zinsco circuit breaker, Square D breaker, along with breakers from Westinghouse, Bryant, and Federal Pacific are in stock for immediate delivery.
The experienced staff at Circuitbreakerservice.com is available Monday through Friday from 8am to 5pm Pacific Time to answer questions and assist with selecting the perfect circuit breaker for every project. This online electrical supply house also offers a wide range of other electrical supplies including motor controls, motor starters, panel board switches, and transformers. Visit their website at www.Circuitbreakerservice.com to check for components by model number or to request a quote.
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- Circuit Breaker Service
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