09 Jul How do Breaker Boxes work?
Electrical systems are vast and complicated, from the power plant or generator always down to the lighting in your home. Each system has a variety of moving parts, wires and differences in voltage that can lead to a certain device or circuits failure. Because of the sheer complexity of the electrical system, it can be rather difficult to pinpoint the exact point of failure, and even harder for a human to respond to said failure quickly without risk of personal damage, fires or other incidents. That’s why all buildings have one main distribution point for all the circuits within, the Breaker Box.
The Breaker Box separates the main power supply into the building into a separate circuit and gives you a way to remove the supply of power to avoid damage. You may have heard of a Breaker Box being described as a Fusebox.
A Breaker Box contains around three to four key items.
The Main Switch allows you to turn off the electricity supply to the building. Some buildings may have more than one mains switch. This is an important piece of the breaker box, as mains power must be disconnected before an electrical repair can be performed in some cases.
Residual Current Devices (RCD) are also contained in the Breaker Box. These are switches that can ‘trip’ when too much electricity flows through, to prevent damage. These control a set of circuits, typically splitting the total circuits in the building into two and having one RCD per set. An RCD is vital as it can detect minute changes in the circuit, being rated at around 30 milliamps on most models. It can, therefore, detect leakage and electricity flowing to unintended paths before injury or damage becomes severe.
There are also circuit breakers and/or fuses, another type of automatic protection device. A fuse is a metal wire or strip between two screws, that melts when too much current flows through, this breaks a circuit and avoids damage. A circuit breaker fulfils the same purpose but can be reset once the fault is corrected. This helps avoid an overload, which could result in severe cases of injury or damage if too many items are plugged into the same circuit.
Overall, a breaker box is your hub for electricity and is the central point all electrical circuits can be followed to. It may be your last line of defence in an electrical emergency. That’s why we offer a variety of safe and quality breaker boxes here at PowerMark UK, which will meet your energy needs securely, without breaking the bank. Check out our breaker boxes right now on our site, which you can find HERE.