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How do circuit breakers work to prevent electrical fires in your home?


According to a level 2 electrician, a circuit breaker works by limiting the electric flow on the conductor to a safer level when there are one too many appliances that are plugged in. So, if you end up tripping a breaker, your electric load will automatically transfer on to another circuit. To accomplish this, breakers often use two these different methods, one is to use a bimetallic strip so your electricity can pass directly through it, high voltage current causes the strip to deflect. This mechanism works just like the sear on a handguns trigger when the trigger is pulled, it will cause a spring to open contacts and the circuit get turned.

The second way type is called “thermal magnetic”. So, when current pass through the breaker, it causes a magnetic field that act on a coil and ends up tripping the breaker. When a breaker works and is wired properly, they prevent fires!

How do circuit breakers & fuses protect your house against electrical fires?

One must know that a short circuit is often the case when electricity finds a less resistance path to travel. When that happens, it will result in a huge amount of electricity flow and with high voltage flow it will emit heat and would become hot enough to eventually start the fire. In order to prevent a short circuit and the damage it will cause, a fuse or a circuit breaker is installed as the bottleneck. When there is a high flow of current, the circuit breaker will automatically stop the flow of current to prevent fire.

What is the function of circuit breakers?

Function of a circuit breaker is twofold. A circuit breaker is used to open an electrical circuit when the current load in a circuit becomes too much for it to handle. This is also known as an overload trip. A breaker will also open the circuit instantaneously during a short circuit condition. This is called a short circuit trip.

Which circuit breaker if often used in house?

It mostly depends on the manufacturer of that circuit panel. Only their own breakers can be used in their own panels. With that being said, most of these breakers are from 10 or 15 amp load breakers with the lights and outlets of 30 amp for large appliances. So, the use of a breaker completely depends on the size wire that is used in the circuit as if the wiring is undersized, it will cause fires.

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