What are the Different Types of Circuit Breakers

Every home and electricity has a device called circuit breaker which shuts off electrical circuits when they’re overwhelmed by a current. Without them, modern commercial and residential buildings would risk irreparable damage and fire to expensive electrical circuits. In this article, I’ll provide all the information you need before you start looking for circuit breakers for sale, all the types, the differences between them and how you should go about the whole process with confidence.

circuit breakers for sale

All circuit breakers fall into three categories, and finding the right circuit breakers for sale will depend on your needs and knowledge on the topic. Installing the wrong voltage breaker can cause a fire hazard. For instance, if an electrical circuit is meant to handle smaller appliances like table lamps and similar, it’s not safe to install a breaker that doesn’t flip when also attempting multiple large appliances or a generator.

Low voltage circuit breakers can handle up to 600 volts. Generally, this type is suitable for anyone buying a circuit breaker for their home. Low voltage breakers are the most common ones, as they’re also used in small industrial buildings and businesses. The method of breaking a circuit varies between design types. These circuits have the most methods of performing their job, but thermal-magnetic breakers are the most common.

Medium voltage circuit breakers are capable of handling up to 1,500 volts. They’re further categorized by the method they use to break a circuit: air, SF6 gas or vacuum. While application does vary, they can often be found maintaining the circuits of generators, gas turbines and pumped storage. Sometimes, these breakers are grouped with high or low voltage breakers, eliminating medium classification.

High voltage circuit breakers are used for outdoor electrical systems, such as transmission networks, which are used to distribute power from power plants to consumers. They’re usually designed to be capable of handling a minimum of 1,500 volts. Additionally to the circuit breaking methods which are used for medium voltage breakers, high circuit breakers can use minimum and bulk oil. Because of the environmental concerning oil spills, newer high voltage circuit breakers tend to use gas. Generally, they are considerably larger than low and medium circuit breakers and are therefore more expensive to ship.

Buying circuit breakers online is relatively easy if you know what you’re looking for. Adding new breakers should be done safely and if you’re not qualified to do so, don’t hesitate to contact an electrician with expertise in that field.

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