Understanding Circuit Breakers

April 26, 2023

Whether you appreciate its importance or not, the circuit breaker is one of the most important devices in your home, car and even inside your electronics. On the most basic level, a circuit breaker is designed to stop the flow of electricity whenever too much builds up. Depending on the type of circuit breaker, you may have to flip a switch, replace a fuse or replace the entire breaker. In either case, your electronics and home are left safe until either you, or your Provo electrician is able to troubleshoot and properly fix the problem.

Simple Circuit Protection

If you have ever changed a fuse, you have changed one of the most basic types of circuit protection. The way a fuse works is very simple. A thin wire is enclosed in the outer cover of the fuse, and then plugged into your circuit. Under normal electrical circumstances, the electricity will flow through the fuse as if it were part of the circuit. Whenever there is a spike in electricity, or levels exceed those that are safe for that particular circuit, the thin wire will fail, disintegrating under the stress of the increased electricity. As a result, the dangerously high levels of electricity do not reach your valuable electronics. Depending on what caused the problem, and where your fuse is located, you can then call an electrician to perform any electrical troubleshooting, and replace the fuse.

Advanced Circuit Protection

The trouble with fuse-based circuit breakers is that they are only designed to work one time. To remedy this issue, the circuit breaker was developed. A circuit breaker is very similar to a fuse, but is designed to function with a switch rather than a thin wire. When electricity levels rise above the level safe for the circuit, the switch will flip, breaking the connection to the circuit. You can then flip the switch back to its original position in order to restore the flow of electricity. In most cases, a flipped breaker indicates an overloaded circuit, or a brief surge of power. If you have a breaker that flips frequently, however, think about calling an electrician to come take a look.

Upgrading Your Circuit Protection

If you live in an older home, there is a small chance that you may have a very old breaker box. In some very old homes, you may even be working with a system that has fuses. Although this is unlikely, you should always have an electrician, such as Yes!, come out to perform an electrical safety assessment. They will be able to tell you how current, and how safe your system is. In the case of a highly outdated, they may recommend a panel upgrade, and possibly a whole house rewire. While this may seem like a very invasive and extensive procedure, there can be many benefits after it is completed. Your home will be much safer, and your electronics will be operating on much cleaner and well-regulated electricity.

It goes without saying that a properly functioning circuit breaker is essential to the safety and operation of your home or office. When coupled with whole house surge protectors, a circuit breaker will not only protect you from overloaded circuits, but all sorts of other unexpected changes in your electrical current. These can result from lightning, downed power lines and other unexpected occurrences. Because we depend so heavily on electricity to maintain our standard of living, we should also be positive that the systems in place to keep our electricity safe and flowing are always in the best of condition. Get in touch with Yes!, your electrician in Las Vegas and Salt Lake City.

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Last Updated: May 25, 2023