Circuit breakers are devices that interrupt or stop the electric current should a change within it arise, such as a sudden increase or decrease in power. Most modern houses, buildings and facilities in general use them as they are quite advantageous compared to the old fuses. Any circuit breaker can be repaired, and in the following article we will try and explain what you need to know about the insides of a circuit breaker in case you must repair it yourself, however, we strongly suggest asking a professional to do so, or buying a new one.
Circuit breaker parts: segmentation
Here we will list the most common parts to a home used circuit breaker. These devices function via magnetic or thermal elements and are slightly different from air or vacuum versions. Those circuit breaker parts would be: actuator lever and mechanism, contacts, terminals, clips, calibration screw, solenoid and arc divider or extinguisher. In another jargon, these would be called simply: the switch, terminal, contact, catch and electromagnet. Now let’s discuss the most important of these.
Circuit breaker parts: explanation
The most obvious part of a circuit breaker when looked from outside, without any disassembly is the switch or actuator lever. This part serves to show when a breaker is in on or off position, or when it delivers the current and when it does not. You simply flip it up or down and that’s the most you can do. On the inside though, actuator mechanism, or electromagnet as well as contacts, terminals and the calibration screw are the most important elements. How does all of this work? Well terminals are the two points that connect to the current in a wall or breaker panel. When the current flows, the connection between these two is uninterrupted, because the contacts are connected. When the current gets too strong, the electromagnet gains enough power to be able and pull the contacts away, breaking the flow. The calibration screw is used to determine the amount of electric power that can flow through the breaker before it shuts off and should not be touched unless you really know what you are doing. All the other parts can be safely replaced and spare parts can be bought at most electric appliance manufacturers such as Philips or General Electric.
Circuit breaker parts: conclusion
Besides the aforementioned parts, you should leave other elements of a breaker alone. In the end, it is always best to have a skilled person take a look at it and fix it rather than do it yourself as you risk destroying all of the appliances in your home. Spare parts are not that expensive and you can find even the tiniest bits to replace. You can look for more detailed descriptions on the internet, as most manufacturers have manuals on breaker parts and disassembly available online. Perhaps with the help of those, you might be able and take care of the more advanced problems within a breaker yourself. Even so, unless you are completely certain you know what you are doing, better stay out of it.