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3 Reasons Why Circuit Breakers and Fuses Trip or Burn Out
Tuesday, February 6, 2018

The room is suddenly dark, what could be the reason?

Most of the times when power goes out in a single room on one circuit, it’s because the fuse or circuit breaker connected with the circuit has burned out or tripped. The fuses or circuit breakers play a vital role in protecting the electrical wires and equipment from damage in case of an overvoltage.

If the voltage goes above the rated maximum level, and high current passes through the circuit breaker or a fuse, power is automatically shut off by these devices to protect the electrical equipment from damage. If there are no circuit breakers or fuse connected to the circuit, expensive electrical equipment will burn in an event of overvoltage.

When circuit breaker trips, the lever must be reset to the ‘ON’ position to turn the power on. However, in case of a fuse, it has to be replaced with a new one because fuse burns to protect the circuit from damage.

It’s important to understand why a circuit breaker trips or fuse burns out to figure out the faults in the electrical wiring and avoid it from happening again. Let’s take look at a few reasons why circuit breaker trips or fuse burns out.

1. Overload

Circuit breakers or fuses mostly trip because of an overload in the circuit. It occurs when a current greater than maximum rating of a circuit is drawn from the switch. For example, when many light fixtures or applications are plugged in a single socket or extension wire, the current that these devices draw is too much and the wire begins to heat up. The circuit breaker or a fuse senses this and breaks the circuit to shut off the power and save the devices or wire from burning.

2. Ground Fault

Ground fault occurs when a live wire comes into contact with the ground and current begins to flow on the grounding path. These faults can be very dangerous as without a ground in an electrical circuit, we can get electrocuted from touching the surface of the switch. Damaged wiring, fault or damaged appliances can cause ground fault. Circuit breaker trips or fuse burns out when a ground fault occurs to save us from harm.

3. Short Circuit

A short circuit occurs when a live wire touches another wire or another part in the circuit and gives electricity a low resistance path to flow. For example, an insulated wire coming into contact with an electrical switch can allow the current to flow through the switch. Sometimes, a short circuit also occurs because of an electrical wiring issue in a device that is connected to the switch. The circuit breaker trips or fuse burns out in case of a short circuit to protect us from electrical shock.

If you need more information about different types of circuit breaker or fuses, or wish to buy them, we suggest you check out the product range of Midwest Equipment.


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