Circuit Breaker vs. Fuse: Which Should You Choose
Monday, May 21, 2018
Both the circuit breaker and fuse are essential for the protection of your electrical appliances from fluctuations in electricity. Excess current, in absence of either a fuse or circuit breaker will fry your valuable electrical home appliance, or worse, cause fire.
How Does a Fuse Work?
Having the basic knowledge about how a fuse works can really come in handy for anyone. These small devices are important when protecting you in case of power surges that can become very dangerous.
The fuse is a small piece of wire, packed inside a casing which is usually made up of glass or ceramic. The current flows through these wires, and when there is excess of current, the wire melts. This stops the current flow by breaking the circuit.
The fuse once burnt needs to be replaced. The fuse is usually located in the central fuse box where the main power supply is.
How Do Circuit Breakers Work?
Circuit breakers serve the same purpose as the fuse, protecting the electrical appliances from current fluctuation. But circuit breakers do this using a different mechanism. Circuit breakers use the concept of electro-magnetism to break the circuit.
Under normal circumstances, the current is allowed to freely pass the circuit breaker. But when there is an abnormal amount of current, the electro-magnet causes the switch to activate due to the solenoid getting magnetized. This switch breaks the circuit and the current stops flowing throw the wires.
The circuit breaker can easily be reset, by flipping the switch which will restore it to its normal state. The circuit breaker too is located near the main power supply in a breaker box.
Is One Better Than the Other
You cannot simply say that one is better than the other. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. The fuse, for example, is cheaper than the circuit breaker. The fuse box is comparatively cheaper to install. And when a fuse is burned it can easily be replaced. Fuse are readily available at every hardware store and don’t cost much. But if you are expecting frequent fluctuations and surges then the constant replacement of fuse can be problematic and annoying.
Furthermore, replacing a fuse during night time when it is dark can be difficult compared to dealing with a circuit breaker, which only requires a flip of the switch. Additionally, if a wrong fuse with an incorrect rating is installed mistakenly, it will not perform its task and cause damage to your electrical appliances.
Both fuses and circuit breakers are essential components of your home’s electric circuitry, and serve their purpose at different junctions. Getting high quality electrical equipment is important for the efficient functioning of the electric supply. If you are looking for a place to get your hardware from, then look no further than Midwest Equipment.
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