Circuit Breakers vs Fuses

by Mindy, Product Marketing Specialist 14. June 2011 17:03

If Circuit Breakers and Fuses are designed to perform the same essential function - what is the big difference?

Circuit breakers and fuses employ two separate types of technology to protect against sudden, large excesses of electrical current, also known as circuit overload.

Why should I be concerned with circuit overload?  Circuit overload is the term given to identify a highly undesirable circumstance when more amperage is put across an electrical wire or circuit than it can safely handle. When this occurs, a number of hazardous conditions become concerns including; potentially destroying electrical equipment, extreme heat, and electrical fire.   

Circuit Protection via Fuse - A fuse contains a metal filament through which electricity must pass to "complete the circuit."  As electricity passes, the fuse is constantly working to detect the amount of current being transmitted. If current reach suddenly becomes too high the metal filament will melt, disrupting the flow of electricity and shutting down excess equipment. After the filament of a fuse has melted there is no way to repair the fuse, it must be replaced .

Circuit Protection via Circuit Breaker - Circuit breakers work by detecting current via pilot device and are able to turn themselves off once current reaches levels that are too high. Circuit Breakers come in a variety of different types ranging from low-voltage to very high voltage models. When current exceeds what the circuit breaker can handle the breaker will automatically "switch off" electricity. After the problem is identified circuit breakers can be easily switched back on and require no replacement.  

Pros and Cons - Arguably , there are several pros and cons associated with each of  the technologies. Fuses, generally far less expensive, posses greater safety concerns and provide a greater opportunity for human error to occur. Fuses must also be replaced every time an overload is experienced. Circuit breakers, typically considered to be safer and "less hassle" option do not need to be replaced after an overload, however, the technology may also come with a higher price tag in tow. Electricians are best qualified to determine whether fuses or circuit breakers are better for a particular electrical installation.

“K.I.S.S. – Keep It Safe and Sound” Safety Tips for Surge Protectors and Power Strips

by Jennifer, Inside Sales Associate 30. May 2011 01:55

Surge Protectors and Power Strips each have very distinct functions. Surge protectors are devices designed to protect electrical devices from voltage spikes. A power strip is a strip of electrical sockets that may be attached to the end of a flexible cable and allows multiple devices to be plugged in.

Every year thousands of injuries, fires, and deaths occur from surge protectors and power strips.
Below is a list of suggestions to help keep you safe and prevent a fire.

  1. Surge protectors and power strips are not a substitute for permanent wiring.

  2. Use care when inserting or removing a plug from an outlet. If you make contact with live prongs, it could result in electric shock

  3. Never plug a power strip or surge protector into an existing power strip or surge protector. This is also called “daisy chaining”

  4. Examine your surge protector or power strip on a regular basis to ensure that it is not hot, damaged, or has frayed wires.

  5. Never tape or staple a power strip or surge protector down.

  6. A surge protector or power strip should not be exposed to a moist environment unless it is specified by the manufacturer.

  7. When taking the plug out of the outlet, pull from the plug. Do not pull from the cord.

  8. Make a habit of unplugging it when it is not being used.

  9. Never cover a power strip or surge protector with anything that may prevent air circulation.

  10. If you have any questions regarding the proper operating procedure for a power strip or surge protector, do not hesitate to reach out to someone with experience and knowledge.
    You are always better safe than sorry

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