WHY A CIRCUIT BREAKER OR FUSE MAY BLOW

A typical electrical system is made up of different circuits and electric outlets. These circuits are shielded by a fuse or circuit breaker. Without a circuit breaker, it would not be possible to control and protect circuits and appliances. However, there are a few old houses that do not have a circuit breaker. These houses make use of a fuse for circuit control.

Usually, circuit breakers have switches for turning on and putting off the device. Apart from that, they are mostly located in a main service panel.

Most times, when the lights go off in a residential apartment, it may be because of the action or inaction of the circuit breaker. It could also be caused by a faulty fuse. This is because a fuse and breaker are configured to put a stop to power flow if a problem arises. A circuit breaker can be reset or reconfigured. On the other hand, a fuse needs to be replaced when it becomes faulty. A burnt fuse is usually characterized by a burnt metal filament.

To avoid having to replace fuses and resetting circuit breakers often, you should have an idea of the root cause. It could be because the fuse or breaker is performing its primary duty of circuit protection.

It could also be because of damage or fault in the circuit breaker. A fuse or breaker will trip off when any of the following things occur.

An overload

This is the primary cause of a tripping circuit breaker. It implies that one of the circuits is trying to exceed its maximum load bearing capacity. When too many gadgets operate simultaneously, the circuit breaker will trip if its internal sensor is still intact. This tripping will discontinue the flow of current to such a circuit. Hence, it will no longer be active. To reinitiate the circuit the breaker needs to be reset and this is a very simple thing to do. All that is needed is for the switch to be pushed to the ON position.  When your breaker trips frequently, it could be an indication that the circuits are been overworked. Hence, load shedding needs to be done so that one circuit does not handle more current than it can ordinarily take. It could also be because the circuits in your house are inadequate. Therefore, more circuits need to be installed.

Short Circuit

This is another common cause of a tripping circuit breaker. It could happen when two wires that should not come in contact touch each other. It could also be caused by issues surrounding wiring of a gadget or appliance. It is not easy to trace or keep track of the cause of a short circuit. Therefore, calling on an experienced electrician is the best thing to do.

Also, if you notice that your circuit breaker trips almost immediately after a reset have been done, it could be because of a short circuit.

Ground Fault

This is another form of short circuit. This one occurs when a hot cable or conductor makes physical contact with a ground wire. It is important to keep the environment dry and free from moisture because when a ground fault occurs, there is a high risk of electrocution.

It is not enough to fix a ground fault, it is better to prevent them from occurring. A ground fault is characterized by a drop in resistance and an increase in the rate of flow of electric charges. It has so many of the features of a usual short circuit.

Arc Fault

Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters were produced to cushion the effects of arc faults. These breakers are powerful enough to sense irregularity in power supply between two nodes or contact points in an electrical system. Apart from that, when an overload occurs the AFCI trips automatically. The AFCI is also able to guide against a ground-fault and short-circuit.

An AFCI can be reset in a similar way to a normal circuit breaker. However, when tripping is too frequent, it could be because a wire connection is not tight enough. Hence, arcing will happen severally.

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