circuit breaker

Circuit Breaker: What Is It Exactly?

Electricity in the home has come a long way over the years. Massive power grids deliver affordable electricity to thousands of homes every day. Wires in a home run from the attic to the basement, in the yard, and in most of the outbuildings, too. As a result, they all share a common home distribution system. With all this power at our fingertips, it’s important that there are safeguards in place. One of the most important safety features in the home distribution system is the circuit breaker.

What Is a Circuit Breaker?

A circuit breaker is a device that can interrupt or ‘break’ open a circuit if needed. Every electric circuit has at least one circuit breaker on it. If a problem develops, it stops the flow of electricity and protects our homes from danger.

What Does It Do?

The circuit breaker monitors the amount of electricity flowing through the circuit. Amperage, or amps, measures the electric flow. Each circuit carries a certain amount of electrical traffic. If something would cause the circuit to begin to draw more amps than it is rated to handle, the circuit breaker will activate and ‘break’ the circuit.

How Does It Work?

The internal workings of a breaker are a little more complicated. Using a thermally-operated electromagnetic switch, the device monitors the amount of current through the circuit and is sensitive to an overload. If the circuit carries more amps than it is designed for, the excessive current in the circuit breaker causes the switch to flip. As a result, power is removed from the rest of the circuit.

Why Is It Important?

Electricity is a powerful tool, but it can also be dangerous if not controlled and monitored properly. If a device would fail and short out internally, or if an electric wire became damaged or exposed, a circuit breaker is always on the job monitoring and shutting down any overload situations.

If you need work on your electrical system, be sure to consult an electrician in Carroll County, Maryland for professional service. Tim Kyle Electric, Heating & Cooling Services, selected “Carroll’s Best” for 2017 by the citizen’s of Carroll County, Maryland, can assist with all your electrical needs.

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