Circuit Breaker FAQ: 10 Commonly Asked Questions Answered

Published On: June 7, 20230 Comments on Circuit Breaker FAQ: 10 Commonly Asked Questions AnsweredLast Updated: January 29, 20242.7 min read

Circuit breakers are complicated components in residential and commercial buildings. Before installing circuit breakers on a Wadsworth electrical panel, take a look at our frequently asked questions.

switching circuit breaker

1. What is a circuit breaker?

A circuit breaker is a bus plug that protects electric overloads from stopping the electrical flow to a home or business. They close the circuit by tripping it, so someone has to turn it back on to send power back to the area that tripped the breaker. Circuit breakers do not need to be replaced after they’ve been tripped, making them an affordable and safe choice for commercial and residential properties – especially compared with older fuses.

2. Why do circuit breakers trip?

Circuit breakers trip because the circuit has more electricity that it can handle. Rather than overloading the sockets, the circuit breaker stops the flow. Breakers stop for other reasons, most commonly when a socket is damaged.

3. What should I know about circuit breakers?

The best thing to know about a circuit breaker is how to determine if they are on or off. You can lock your circuit breakers, preventing them from tripping if an overload happens. So avoid locking them. Talk to your electrician about the safest way to set up and maintain your circuit breaker box.

4. How many circuit breakers fit my electrical panel?

Before installing new circuit breakers, you’ll have to determine how much space is available in the panel. You’ll see the punch-out panels where you can add circuit breakers. If the panel is full, you’ll need a new subpanel.

5. Do I have to use the same brand of electrical breakers?

Before buying off-brand breakers, think twice. Not all components fit together successfully. Our team can help you choose the best brand for your panel. The models will need compatible poles, amps, and volts along with other specifications.

adding circuit breaker

6. What is a fusible switch?

A fusible switch is also known as a fuse. These are the old-fashioned electrical components that stopped overloads from reaching sockets. When an overload happened, the fuse blew and needed replacing. New buildings have circuit breakers because they are more efficient and do not need to be replaced when tripped.

7. What is a low-voltage circuit breaker?

Low-voltage circuit breakers handle loads under 600 volts. Most residential properties have low-voltage circuit breakers designed to handle 100 to 400 volts.

8. What happens if the area around the circuit breaker box is flooded?

Since many homes and businesses have their breaker panels in the basement, there is a risk of flooding near the panel. If you have flooding near the panel, the safest choice is to call an electrician who can help you turn off the power or inspect your panel.

9. What is an AFCI circuit breaker?

The AFCI or Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupter detects low level arc faults, then trips the breaker. These circuit breakers make buildings safe by detecting potential electrical hazards.

10. How do I reset my circuit breaker?

You don’t have to call an electrician to reset your circuit breaker. Instead, find the breaker that is in the off position and push it to the on position.

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