Circuit Breaker Problems

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One of the most common electrical devices found in the home is the circuit breaker. It is an electrical switch made to keep the whole electrical circuit from sparks and damage due to short circuit or overload. Essentially, it is used to interrupt electric continuity in order to detect faults in the electrical flow.

Functions

  • Circuit breakers are designed to provide better handling of electrical supply. They vary in sizes depending on application, and they operate by carrying electric current before it is delivered to the different power supply outlets located in a home or building. Circuit breakers work by looking for various faults within the current. The device is made of contacts that separate when faults are found, causing current interruptions. Once interruption takes place, an arc within the separators is formed, which in turn has to be cooked and extinguished in order to resume normal electrical flow.

Advantages

  • Circuit breakers provide a number of advantages in regulating electrical supply flow. Circuit breakers last longer than a fuse, and they can be reset in case a circuit takes place; on the other hand, a blown up fuse has to be replaced with a new one. Circuit breakers also handle a greater load of current, and thus they are used in switch gears found in high voltage transformers that provide electricity to towns and cities.

History

  • The first forms of circuit breakers were released by Thomas Alva Edison in 1879, but his breakers were patented for home use only. At that time, fuses were still used in commercial electrical systems, because they were more reliable to withstand faulty conditions and current interruptions. Nowadays, circuit breakers are used by both small and large scale consumers to accommodate the increasing demand for electrical power.

Problems

  • Circuit breakers usually trip when they cannot handle greater electrical current passing through them, and this is caused by overload due to the addition of more appliances and devices that use electricity. During an overload of electric current, the different components of the circuit breaker tend to overheat and eventually trip, leading to a short circuit. Blown up circuit breakers eventually have to be replaced in order to resume normal circulation of electric current.

Solutions

  • Repairing circuit breaker problems immediately provides a number of benefits. First, it maintains normal flow of electric current despite the increased use of electricity. Second, well conditioned circuit breakers keep wiring trips and short circuits from taking place, thus protecting the place from experiencing brownouts or accidental fires due to faulty wiring.

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