A Brief Guide to Buying Circuit Breakers: What You Need to Know

The global circuit breaker market has registered immense growth in the recent past. The market value reached $15.41 billion in 2021, and it’s projected to reach $24.59 billion by 2028.

Researchers estimate a compound annual growth rate of 6.9% over the forecast duration.

A circuit breaker is an essential component of your electrical system. Buying circuit breakers helps protect your electrical appliances from damage by cutting off power whenever there’s a short circuit.

There are many circuit breaker features to consider before visiting a circuit breaker provider. This article provides a detailed guide on everything to know when buying circuit breakers.

Types of Circuit Breakers

Standard circuit breakers are the most common type in the market. They’re used for electrical applications in your home, particularly those that serve large appliances.

GFCI circuit breakers cut power in the event of an overload, short circuit, and when there’s a line-to-ground fault. You’ll find these types of circuit breakers getting used close to water sources indoors or outdoors.

The AFCI circuit breakers cut off the power supply after sensing an electrical surge or abnormal circuit that could lead to an electric fire. Besides, they’re required by code in every new construction project.

Different Breaker Sizes

Take note of the wire size on the cable that will connect to the circuit breaker to know the correct size circuit breaker for your needs. Usually, two measurements get listed.

The first measurement represents the wire gauge, followed by a dash sign. The second figure represents the number of wires inside the cable.

Consult with your circuit breaker provider if you need more clarification. That way, you’ll choose the best circuit breaker size for your house.

Voltage Rating

You’ll find circuit breakers in three varying voltage capacities. Every voltage capacity gets designed to store a certain amount of electrical power.

Low voltage (thermal magnetic) circuit breakers work well for homes with few people. They can accommodate up to 1000 amps of electricity.

Medium voltage circuit breakers are used in apartments, complexes, and large businesses. They find their application in areas that use at least 72,000 volts regularly.

Lastly, you’ll get the high voltage circuit breakers. They are mainly used along electrical power lines.

Circuit Breaker Frequency

Circuit breakers with frequencies greater than 120Hz will cause breaker derating. It’s best to look for up to 600 amps circuit breakers to apply to frequencies ranging between 50Hz to 120Hz.

Your breaker derating amount will depend on the frame size, ampere rating, and current frequency. Further, the circuit breaker derating will increase if the ampere rating is high in a particular frame size.

Maximum Interrupting Capacity

This is the highest amount of fault current that a breaker can interrupt without failing the system. You can always determine your circuit breaker’s largest interrupting capacity at any time.

Ensure the interrupting capacity value equates or exceeds the amount of fault current calculated. Otherwise, you will cause damage to your circuit breaker.

Buying Circuit Breakers

It would be best to look for a reputable circuit breaker when buying circuit breakers. Comparing breaker prices from different providers will help you get quality and affordable circuit breakers.

With this guide, you stand in a good position to know the best type of circuit breakers to buy for your home.

Continue your research by checking out our other articles today.