If you're like most people, an electric circuit breaker panel can be a scary thing. What lurks behind its metal cover plate? Removing the screws that hold the cover in place will reveal the inner parts of the panel, but be very careful as the contents are live and the dangers are real.
Circuit breaker panels have all but replaced the electrical feeds of homes, replacing the outdated fuse panels of yesterday. In their day, fuse panels worked wonderfully, that is until we started running more... and more on the electrical service tat we had. Fuses just screwed into fuse sockets to connect and were unscrewed to disconnect. Circuit breakers use a very different method, using a switch of sorts called a circuit breaker. Some circuit breakers control 120-volt circuits, while others are double pole breakers that control 240-volt circuitry that can be used for things like electric dryers, electric ranges, and electric water heaters.
Among the different circuit breakers, you will have a main circuit breaker that powers the whole electrical panel, usually a 100-amp or 200-amp main breaker.This circuit breaker either turns the whole electrical panel on or off.
Ten there is the GFCI circuit breaker that protects you, especially in wet areas in and around the home. This includes bathrooms, kitchens, garages, basements, and outdoors. Because they trip when trouble is sensed, it makes this device a life saver!
Take a look at what can be installed in a circuit breaker panel and how each of these things has a specific role to play. Your electrical panel controls the distribution of electricity throughout your home. There are specific devices that must be used in order for your circuitry to work safely and properly. Knowing what sized breaker to use, what type, and how to control them will get you on your way to understanding electrical circuit breaker panels.
As far as whether a fuse or circuit breaker is better, each ha its own reason why it is better, but the simple fact of the matter is that either one is equally as effective at protecting the circuit connected to it. Because a circuit breaker can be reset after it trips, unlike a blown fuse, it means not having to replace circuit breakers like you have to with fuses. Once they have blown they are no longer a working item and are discarded. Unless a circuit breaker becomes defective and is unable to reset, you should be able to have circuit trips and be able to reset it many times before it becomes a defective circuit breaker. My choice is the circuit breaker for powering the home.
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Circuit Breaker Types:
An electrical circuit breaker panel consists of a buss bar that is used to house different types of circuit breakers. Each has a defining role to play inside and these breakers come in many shapes and sizes. Circuit breakers control the amount of current that can flow through a circuit, prevent circuit overloads, prevent ground faults, prevent arc faults, and provide a manual disconnecting means for working on a circuit.
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Working With Circuit Breakers
Just simply knowing what a circuit breaker is doesn't necessarily mean that you know how to use it. Circuit breakers must be turned on, off and sometimes reset. These helpful tips will teach you the basics of working with and controlling circuit breakers.
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Electrical Panel Extensions, Wiring, and Brands
Electrical circuit breakers control branch circuits and sub-panels. Circuit breakers are built by different manufacturers and are quite different believe it or not. Circuit breakers are wired according to the size of wire connected to it and the load requirements of what it is connected to.
- How To Wire an Electrical Panel
- How To Calculate Load Capacity
- Are Circuit Breakers Interchangeable?