Circuit breakers: an essential part of your home’s functionality and safety. But how much do you actually know about the little switches? And what does a circuit breaker do? If you don’t know much, you aren’t alone. In fact, circuit breakers are a mystery to most, which can make them dangerous. The best way to stay safe is through education.
So what is a circuit breaker?
An electrical marvel, circuit breakers are automatic protection systems. They detect and stop excess electrical currents. Breakers “trip” or “break” all power when too much electrical current is flowing through it. Without circuit breakers, the risk of fires and other dangers would be too high for household electricity. So all in all, circuit breakers are one of the most important mechanisms in your home.
What causes a circuit breaker to “break”?
When electricity enters your home, it travels through the circuit breaker. From there, it is divided into several circuits (i.e. the kitchen, bedrooms, living room). Some rooms, like kitchens and laundry rooms, require heavier duty circuits since they are powering bigger watt items, like dryers, ovens and even hair dryers.
When we try to push more current through a specific circuit than it is designed for, wires begin to heat up due to the excess current. This excess heat causes the circuit to stop the flow of power before damage can occur.
We understand the desire to take care of your home and ensure every aspect is safe. But even the best do-it-yourself types should leave electrical work to the professionals. With several wires, breakers, electrical currents and voltages, circuit breakers can seriously injure you. If your breakers are tripping often, give your electrician a call. They can help assess and fix whatever issues are causing the break.