As we know from Joule’s law, the passage of an electric current through a conductor generates heat. So much heat that it can lead to melting the conductor. The creation of a circuit breaker resulted from the need to protect the connected electrical equipment when a higher than the maximum permissible current or a short circuit in the installation occurs.
In such circumstances, in order to protect household appliances we would need to stop the power supply. Here comes a circuit breakers utility.
A circuit breaker is a thin wire calibrated to withstand electrical current without melting. In the case of a power surge or short-circuit, it melts. In general, the electrical installation by a licensed centennial electrician is made so that all the appliances are connected in parallel. The circuit breaker is then connected in series with the energy consumers.
Even though today, in residential electrical installations, automatic breakers are the most popular, classic circuit breakers are still placed upstream of the circuit. Having a longer response time for the short-circuit current, they allow the decoupling of the automatic circuit breakers without burning down, unless the automatic ones do not decouple.
Advantages of automatic circuit breakers
- they do not require replacement
- they involve fewer risks – if it is necessary to change them, there is no risk of injury
- the reaction to the problem is instantaneous
- they provide overload and short-circuit protection