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# What is the function that makes a circuit breaker different…

Customer Question
What is the function...

What is the function that makes a circuit breaker different from a switch so that it is able to break fault current

Contractor's Assistant: How old is the system in question? And have you consulted an electrician yet?

What is the function that makes a circuit breaker different from a switch so that it is able to break fault current

Contractor's Assistant: Do you plan on doing the work yourself?

Yes

Submitted: 7 months ago.Category: Electrical
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10/22/2017
Electrician: Kevin, Licensed Electrical Contractor replied 7 months ago
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 4,282
Experience: 31 years Licensed Electrical Contractor in Illinois, Adjunct College Electrical Instructor, Former Electrical Inspector, Diploma: Digital Electronics, FCC Technician License
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Hello and welcome to Just Answer. My name is ***** ***** I will be happy to assist you with your electrical question.

1) The most common type of circuit breaker utilizes thermal magnetic expansion. Inside the breaker is an electromagnet. Upon an increase of electrical current boosts, this increases the electromagnet's magnetic force. The decreasing current lowers the magnetism. When the current jumps to unsafe levels due to an overload (higher amounts of current that the breaker is rated for), the electromagnet pulls down a metal lever connected to the breakers internal mechanism. The entire linkage shifts, tilting the moving contact away from the stationary contact to break the circuit. The electricity then shuts off....ie...... the breaker tripped. A circuit breaker is also a form of a switch in which it can be turned ON and OFF manually.

2) A switch "makes" (ON) or "breaks (OFF) a circuit or opens the circuit and stops the current flow. A switch also contains metal contacts that connect the circuit conductors together. There are a variety of switch types...........ie.... manual, automatic, relays, contactors, etc.

3) The thermal electromagnet inside a circuit breaker is the function that is able to sense and break fault current conditions. A circuit breaker is also referred to as an "over current" device.

Electrician: Kevin, Licensed Electrical Contractor replied 7 months ago

1) The sole purpose of a circuit breaker is to act as an over protection device where it protects the wires from excessive amounts of current. If the amount of current exceeds the wire rating, the wires will get hot and over heat.

Customer reply replied 7 months ago
I just attand HV SWITCHING COURSE. There is question they ask me.i could't answer propely.What is the function that makes a circuit breaker different from a switch so that it is able to break fault current.
Electrician: Kevin, Licensed Electrical Contractor replied 7 months ago

1) Thermal electromagnetic expansion

If you have any additional questions, just let me know and I’ll be glad to answer them for you.

Otherwise, don’t forget to rate me before you log Off.

Thanks.................Kevin:)

Electrician: Kevin, Licensed Electrical Contractor replied 6 months ago

Any other questions?

Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 4,282
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Experience: 31 years Licensed Electrical Contractor in Illinois, Adjunct College Electrical Instructor, Former Electrical Inspector, Diploma: Digital Electronics, FCC Technician License

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