Know the Difference: Certain breakers Needed for Larger Appliances, Others Needed for Wetter Areas of the Home
A circuit breaker is a necessary part of any home that uses power on a regular basis. It is a switch that automatically interrupts electrical flow in a circuit in case of a short or an overload.
There may be a time when you need to have yours replaced and have to decide what type of new breaker you need. To make that decision easier, here we have a list of three different kinds with a brief description accompanying them, so you know which one is best for the location of the breaker you need to replace.
- Standard circuit breakers: These monitor the flow of electricity as it enters the home and makes its way through your electrical wiring system. In the event of an overload – when one hot wire touches a neutral wire, ground wire, or another hot wire – the breaker trips. This breaks the current to prevent wires from overheating and causing a potential fire. There are two types to choose from – Single-pole breakers and Double-pole breakers. Single-pole units are the most common ones found in homes. They protect one energized wire and supply 120V to a circuit. Double-pole breakers consist of two single-pole breakers with one handle and a shared trip mechanism. They protect two energized wires and are required for large appliances, such as dryers and water heaters.
- Ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) circuit breakers: These breakers cut the power to the circuit when they are tripped by an overload of current, a short circuit, or a line-to-ground fault. All GFCI breakers are equipped with test buttons and coiled wires. GFCIs are required in potentially wet areas, like kitchens, bathrooms, etc. They are also recommended for workshops and areas where power tools will be used.
- AFCI breakers: AFCI breakers protect against an unintentional electric discharge in an electrical cord or wiring. Once the abnormal path is detected, the AFCI instantly disconnects the damaged circuits. These types of breakers are required in most of the rooms in the home. Though they look similar to GFCIs, they do two different things so it’s very important to know the difference.
For any circuit breaker replacement needs or questions, call Raynor today!