Installing high quality switchgear is necessary to ensure streamlined functioning and protection of electrical equipment. Various renowned electrical distributors like Bay Power offer quality switch gears to keep your home efficiently powered.
Circuit breakers are essential switchgear that plays a crucial role in ensuring electrical safety. They regulate the electric current the appliances receive and interrupt the supply when a short circuit or overload is detected. Here are some factors you should consider when purchasing a circuit breaker:
When buying a circuit breaker, the first and foremost factor you should look for is the specified voltage rating. Voltage rating is the ability of a circuit to reduce the chances of an internal arc when the contacts of a circuit breaker open. Based on voltage rating, there are 3 types of circuit breakers:
Low Voltage Circuit Breaker
A low voltage circuit breaker enables electrical currents of only up to 1000 amperes. It is best suited for circuits rated at 600 volts or below. It can be used in small or single-family accommodations.
Medium Voltage Circuit Breaker
A medium voltage circuit breaker is designed to work with circuits rated at 72,000 volts. Similar to low voltage breakers, it can also function on levels of 600 volts or less. It is commonly used in industrial settings and residential and commercial buildings.
High Voltage Circuit Breaker
A high voltage circuit breaker can function with circuits that utilize more than 72,000 volts daily. Such circuit breakers can usually be found in high voltage locations such as power transmission lines.
It is always better to buy a circuit breaker for your home with enough voltage capacity to support all applications. A suitable voltage rating will ensure safety and reliably break and disconnect the circuit when the voltage rises too high.
Always check the frequency of the circuit breaker. Usually, two frequencies are used worldwide; 50Hz and 60 Hz. A circuit breaker allowing an electric current of 600 amperes is compatible with both frequencies. Special calibration or derating is required for higher frequencies as the eddy current and core losses cause the thermal tip to heat more.
To break it down, if the rated current is high, a higher derating will be required for the circuit breaker to work accurately. It is better to always verify with an electrical contractor if the required calibrations are set up in the circuit breaker you are about to purchase.
Maximum Interrupting Capacity
The maximum interrupting capacity or rating is the highest amount of fault current the breaker can handle and interrupt without causing a power failure. To make sure you buy the correct circuit breakers and the power system is well protected, get the amount of abnormal electric current assessed.
Look for a circuit breaker with an interrupting rating of more than or equal to the fault current delivered. Utilizing a circuit breaker unsuitable for the fault current will result in premature wear.
Suitable Interruption Medium
The interruption medium is the internal fluid or substance of a circuit breaker that interrupts the passage of electric current. This medium can range from oil, gas, and vacuum to even no material. Nowadays, vacuum circuit breakers are widely used in households as they are easy to maintain. Go for a circuit breaker with a suitable medium that functions conveniently.
Atypical Operating Conditions
Adding an anti-shock device with the circuit breaker reduces the risk of mechanical shocks. This device holds the trip bar during normal shock conditions but does not prevent tripping during a short circuit or overload condition.
Check the environment’s ambient temperature before installing the circuit breaker. If the temperature exceeds 104°F, special calibration or derating would be required to ensure the optimal working condition of the circuit breaker.
Last but not least, purchase circuit breakers designed to withstand moisture and corrosion. Some high-quality circuit breakers offer special moisture treatment to prevent mold or fungus growth. Furthermore, if the installation location is highly humid, adding a space heater to the enclosure would preserve the condition and function of the breaker.
Installing switchgear from trusted manufacturers is essential to ensure reliability and long-term use. Using high quality circuit breakers in your home can protect your electrical appliances from fault currents and overloads.
Assessing current and voltage rating, frequency, interrupting capacity, and operating conditions can help you choose the right circuit breaker for your house.