Circuit Breakers Explained
When it comes to circuit breakers, the first thing that should come to your mind is circuit protection. These automatic electrical switches are put in place in order to protect a circuit from excess current. A circuit breaker knows to spring into action when it detects a fault, and does this by interrupting current flow. Without these handy devices, the chances of fires or other electrical issues would skyrocket! A circuit breaker functions a lot like a fuse (see "What Is A Fuse?" for more info) except instead of needing to be replaced after a circuit interruption, a circuit breaker can be used time and time again. Basically, there is a piece of metal in the breaker. When this piece of metal is heated to extreme temperatures, this causes the breaker to “trip.” When the piece of metal in the circuit breaker cools down, it can be reset again. This is how a breaker is built to last longer than a normal fuse.