Miniature circuit breakers cut off a circuit, or provide circuit interruption, when overload conditions are detected in a controlled circuit. Miniature circuit breakers are most commonly used in residential electrical units and in commercial buildings to control power sent from an electrical supply to the protected circuits.
Circuit breakers are electrical switches that are automatically activated to prevent damage to circuits due to short circuits or overload. Miniature circuit breakers carry out this function in specific applications.
Miniature circuit breakers contain two contacts that close and open via a spring-based mechanism. A thermal magnetic trip device in the circuit breaker trips the spring when current levels increase above a certain limit, which in turn causes the breaker contacts to open to divert the current.
Ground Fault Detection
Some advanced miniature circuit breaker designs house a fault-detection system. This system enables the breaker contacts to open in the event that a line-to-ground fault, or short circuit, is detected.
- Photo Credit switch image by Clark Duffy from Fotolia.com
Electric Circuit Breaker Types
Circuit breakers, whatever their type, share a common function---to protect an electrical circuit against overloading and to avert damage to the circuit...
What Is the Function of a Circuit Breaker?
A properly designed electrical system is very safe. However, when problems occur, electricity can generate dangerous heat and can be fatal to...
The Disadvantages of a Miniature Circuit Breaker
An MCB prevents overloads that could damage devices plugged into a socket. electric outlet image by Dawn Williams from Fotolia.com
What Is a Molded Case Circuit Breaker?
Replacing glass and long cylindrical fuses, molded case circuit breakers have brought cost savings and reliability with their introduction. At one point...
How to Choose the Proper Amp Circuit Breaker
Circuit breakers are designed to protect electrical wires from overheating. A circuit breaker that is too small for the cable to which...