Circuit Breakers : How It Works And What To Expect

Posted on: December 5, 2016
By: Alan O'Neill
Posted in: Electrician

The Circuit Breaker Inspection In Houston Homeowners

Circuit breaker inspectionThe circuit breaker is an absolutely essential device in the modern world, and one of the most important safety mechanisms in your home. Whenever electrical wiring in a building has too much current flowing through it, these simple machines cut the power until somebody can fix the problem. Without circuit breakers (or the alternative, fuses), household electricity would be impractical because of the potential for fires and other mayhem resulting from simple wiring problems and equipment failures.

 A circuit breaker works as a fail-safe component of your electrical structures protecting it from the hazards of overloading, damage and other problems.

Circuit Breaker Inspection For Homeowners

Whether it is a residential structure or a commercial building, everyone is exposed to electric hazards from domestic appliances, plant equipment and machinery. Shocks and burns from faulty plant equipment can result in lifelong damage and cause serious injuries. Circuit breaker protection is used along with grounding for protecting electronic appliances from overloading and heat build-up. Circuit breaker protection is absolutely essential in today’s world because the safety mechanism of this equipment guards a structure and its occupants against the electrical hazards of faulty wiring, damaged insulation, improper grounding, short-circuit and voltage fluctuations.

The Longevity of Circuit Breaker

Certain types of circuit breakers need more maintenance if they are not fitted with genuine parts. When genuine replacement parts are unavailable, the functioning of circuit breakers is adversely affected and results in frequent repairs, downtime and power failures. The factors that affect the service life of a circuit breaker are:

    1. Number of Switching Operations
      While there is no predefined requirement regarding the service life of a circuit breaker, the switching rate under normal load and overload condition varies between O-t-CO for short-circuit capacity testing. The durability and longevity of a circuit breaker also depends on the magnitude of the breaking current.
    2. Maintenance
      Maintenance cost is a major factor in determining the serviceability of circuit breakers because it is inclusive of inspection costs, manpower costs, preventive maintenance expenses and also depends on the availability of genuine replacement parts for corrective maintenance. Since maintenance expenses are consistent, they have a direct impact on the reliability and longevity of circuit breakers.
    3. Hours of Outage
      A variable cost is to be incurred on every hour of outage during preventive maintenance. If replacement parts are easily available, the outage time can be significantly reduced.
    4. Environmental Factors
      Temperature, the presence of certain fluids and vapors, sulfur hexafluoride and polychlorinated biphenyls asbestos are among the primary environmental concerns that adversely impact the efficiency and reliability of circuit breakers.

Conversion Terms Important to Extending the Service Life of Circuit Breakers

According to the conversion standards stated by the IEEE for switchgear equipment, the following are a few terms which you should be familiar with to ensure correct services:

  1. Racking – is the act of removing a physical component between the connected and disengaged position in a specific compartment.
  2. Reconditioning – is the process of retaining the existing switchgear component while ensuring compliance with the manufacturer’s instructions and keeping only approved parts.
  3. Retrofill – is the conversion procedure that involves the replacement of functional components of a circuit breaker within a compartment of the vertical section that features a different design.

Different Solutions to Extend the Service Life of Circuit Breakers

  1. Reconditioning
    If genuine parts are available from the OEM, the switching rate is low, and the circuit parameters are below the rating, reconditioning can suffice for 5 years. If original parts are not easily available, it can affect the performance of the circuit breaker and also lead to a failure. Since reconditioning relies on reverse engineering it can be hazardous when used for increasing the capacity of the circuit breaker. Read more…

The Importance Of Circuit Breakers 

Circuit breakers are very important for the safety of a house and all residential electric specialists know that. Without them, a house can face many potential hazards, so for any kind of problem with circuit breaker you need to consult a team that specializes in circuit panel repair, replacement, and upgrades. Call us at 713-766-3605 for your home service and repair needs.

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