Different Types of Circuit Breakers

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The most common type of household circuit breaker that people will see is the single pole breaker, which is a single switch. Learn about double pole circuit breakers and ground fault circuit breakers with help from a professional carpenter, woodworker and handyman in this free video on circuit breakers.

Part of the Video Series: Home Improvement & Remodeling
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Video Transcript

Types of circuit breakers. Let's talk about what a circuit breaker is and what it does. In the old days, we had fuses which did the same thing that circuit breakers do today. Back then, the fuse would blow out and you'd have to replace it. The reason the fuse would blow out because there was some sort of electrical surge that the fuse was between the main power source coming in and the different outlets and light switches in your house. And when that surge would happen on that particular line or if there was a a short circuit or some sort of a fault, then the fuse would pop to prevent that from being sent to your device for your hands or anything that might be in your house that you didn't want damaged. Well nowadays, we have what's called a circuit breaker and all that does, replaces the fuse and the entire fuse panel, which if you are a, if you're doing home improvement, and you have an older service panel in your home, you want to call a licensed electrician. Have 'em come out and replace your fuse panel with a breaker panel and what the circuit breaker does, as I said, exactly what the fuse did except instead of having to replace the breaker, it's simply a switch. It looks almost like a light switch and different types are, most common ones you'll find in a in a household breaker panel are most common one is a single pole breaker which is a it's a single switch, it look like, as I said, it looks a bit like a light switch and that will send power to a certain area of the house. Generally those are used for just basic wiring, your your outlets, your light switches and a they'll run anywhere from fifteen to twenty amps. Those are common. Then you you'll occasionally find the older breaker's, a five or a ten amp. But fifteen, twenty amps, then you also have a double pole breaker which is more common for where your, your range or your refrigerator is plugged in because they can handle more amperage up to fifteen to thir...those are the two most common types of breakers you're going to find in a house. There's also ground fault breakers, and nowadays, surge suppressive breakers. And go to your local library or go on-line and research it and you'll find out more than you ever thought you needed to know about circuit breakers.

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