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When we are talking about electricity, one of the most important devices on your property in your circuit breaker. This is an important device that you need to not only have in your home or office, but you should know some basics on how to use your breaker. Without having this knowledge, you could face dangerous or harmful events in the future.

Essentially, a circuit breaker is an electrical switch that can be used to protect your electrical circuit from damage. When your electrical circuit has an overload, a short circuit, or overcurrent problems, this device will interrupt the current flow in your property. It has protective relays that will detect any faults on the electric current.

Circuit Breaker Components

Before you try to use your circuit breaker, you need to know all the necessary components inside this device. There are some basic components that you will find in this circuit breaker. Here are some necessary parts that you need to know.

circuit breaker wiring diagram

a. Frame

This is an important part of the circuit breaker and can help you identify your own breaker or someone else’s in the future. This product is the box that protects all internal parts of the circuit breaker. When you install this part, you are going to protect your circuit breaker from any outside materials. The frame is usually made from high-quality, stainless material so it can last for a long time. It can also prevent the accumulation of dirt on the circuit breaker. When you look at the market, you can find several types of frames that are made from molded insulating materials or metal.

circuit breaker box being unlocked

b. Operating mechanism (main breaker switch)

When we are talking about circuit breakers, we can’t breeze over the main purpose of the device. This operating mechanism is an important part of this unit and is usually in the shape of a lever or on/off switch. It can provide a means of closing and opening the circuit breaker. When you want to operate this device, you need to find where on your box it is located and what position it is in. It is usually located in the front part of the circuit breaker. There are two types of operating mechanisms that are available in most circuit breakers, including a two-step stored energy and over-toggle system.

Circuit breaker safety switch red

c. Labels

A circuit breaker usually contains several labels or contacts inside the device. This important part of the circuit breaker should be maintained properly, so it can last for a long time. Properly labeling each contact is crucial in an emergency situation so make sure you use clear language and handwriting when applying labels inside of your circuit breaker. Most contacts are commonly used to show the user what device or part of the home or office is being controlled by that associated switch.

Label on a Circuit Breakers

d. Arc Extinguisher

This is another important part of the circuit breaker. When this circuit breaker detects any faults or problems, it will extinguish the arc immediately. This is a safety device that can be used to prevent hazards due to faulty electrical devices. This part will play an important role in the circuit breaker by using six different methods, including minimum oil, puffer, magnetic coil, arc chute, vacuum interrupter, and also SF6.

e. Trip Unit

When you take a look at our circuit breaker, we are going to find this part in the device. This part will open the operating mechanism in the circuit breaker. It will be triggered by certain events, such as short circuits or prolonged overload. Two different types of trip units are available today, including electromechanical trip units and electronic trip units. Both devices are very useful to provide short circuit and overload protection for your electrical devices.

Call an Expert

We always recommend you called a trained professional for any electrical work. Experts like Santella Electric can assure safety and efficiency when installing your circuit breaker. Contact us today!