Working on your home and looking into different types of circuit breakers? There are many important things to consider when it comes to electrical engineering.
Be a smart homeowner and use the best circuit breakers that ensure your home and family’s safety. Hire a licensed residential electrician to install and repair your circuit breakers. Make sure that the circuit breaker you purchased follows strict government guidelines.
When it comes to circuit breakers and your family’s safety, you should not cut corners. Did you know that not all circuit breakers are equal in quality these days? Here are the many different types of circuit breakers that exist today.
Types of Circuit Breakers
Did you know that there are different types of circuit breakers? You can see circuit breaker differences based on their voltage and interrupting mechanism. Some also categorize circuit breakers by their installation location and external design.
There are two kinds of circuit breakers based on voltage. The first kind is the low voltage circuit breakers that hold up to 2 kV. The second is high voltage circuit breakers, which have ratings of 123 kV and higher.
When it comes to the installation location, there are indoor or outdoor breakers. There are also two external designs: dead and live tank circuit breakers. There are also different circuit breakers based on interrupting mechanisms, as listed below:
Single-Pole Circuit Breakers
Single-pole breakers are the most common installed circuit breakers in residential homes. The name “single-pole” means that they can track only a single wire. The single-pole breaker trips in the event that the single wire shorts or overloads.
A single-pole circuit breaker can accommodate between 15 to 30 amps. They can also deliver up to 120 volts to the circuit. If you are looking to renovate a room or your house, this circuit breaker is perfect for you.
Double-Pole Circuit Breakers
Double-pole circuits can track the electricity of two wires at the same time. These are two interlinked single breakers with side-by-side switches. This circuit breaker trips once one or both wires become short or overloaded.
A double-pole circuit breaker can accommodate between 15 to 200 amps. They can also deliver up to 240 volts to the circuit. This circuit breaker is perfect for heavy-duty areas such as kitchens or your office.
You should use double-pole circuit breakers for heavy-duty machinery and appliances. These include washing machines and dryers. You may also opt to install double-pole circuit breakers if you have an HVAC system for your home.
GFCI Circuit Breakers
GCFI or GFI stands for Ground Fault Circuit Breaker. Ground Fault Circuit Breakers can protect against line-to-ground faults. Line-to-ground faults occur when an electrical path becomes grounded and dangerous.
It is unsafe when an electrical path between a grounded item and an electrical current. A GFCI breaker helps break this path and protects you from electrical grounding. GFCI breakers can also give you protection against a wire that is short or overloaded.
Ground Fault Circuit Breakers are sometimes mandated by law to have. Electrical codes and the law states homeowners to have GFCIs installed in areas that get wet. These areas include bathrooms, laundry rooms, and any outdoor areas.
AFCI Circuit Breakers
AFCI stands for Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter. These circuit breakers become tripped when arcing becomes detected within an electrical wire. Arcing occurs when an electrical cord becomes damaged or its protective coating thins.
Both single-pole circuit breakers and double-pole circuit breakers aren’t able to detect arcs. When the protective coating of an electrical cord becomes thin, it may cause fires. This serious risk of fire is avoidable with Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters.
Older versions of circuit breakers are not able to detect arcs as they trip because of heat. Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters are now required in electrical codes when building. If you live in an older house, consider upgrading to Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters.
Air Circuit Breakers
Air circuit breakers use air as both insulating and interrupting mediums. They have low voltage and high voltage types. This circuit breaker can energize wires or cut off high currents.
If you create a factory or a building, Air Circuit Breakers are an industry standard. These circuit breakers are the main circuit breakers of ships and industrial buildings. You can also attach other accessories to this breaker, depending on what your needs are.
Oil Circuit Breakers
Oil circuit breakers use oil as both insulating and interrupting mediums. This circuit breaker has types according to its voltage and the type of oil used.
Vacuum Circuit Breakers
Vacuum circuit breakers use vacuum as both insulating and interrupting mediums. A vacuum is perfect because of its high diffusive and dielectric properties.
MCB (Miniature Circuit Breaker)
Miniature Circuit Breakers have current ratings of less than 100 amperes. These circuit breakers only contain one over-current protection. You are also unable to adjust the trip settings in Miniature Circuit Breakers.
MCCB (Molded Case Circuit Breakers)
Molded Case Circuit Breakers have ratings higher than 1000 amperes. These breakers have cases that have earth fault protection along with current protection. One upside is that the trip settings on Moulded Case Circuit Breakers are adjustable.
If you are looking for electrical solutions, it is best to leave it to the professionals. Only hire licensed electricians who offer a warranty and can give emergency support. Bay power can help you with any electrical needs from industrial to residential!
Get the Best Circuit Breakers Today
From single-pole to MCCBs, there is bound to be one that suits your needs. Now that you know the types of circuit breakers, why not share it with friends who are also interested?
Are you looking for electrical products and solutions for your next project? When it comes to electrical engineering, it is best to leave it to the professionals. Check out our other blog posts to learn more about products and solutions offered by industry professionals.