How do miniature circuit breakers work?

by | Aug 11, 2009 06:00 PM ET

You Asked:

How do miniature circuit breakers work? --- Vaibhav, Faridabad, India

Marshall Brain Answered:

The basic idea behind a circuit breaker is to create a switch that will automatically turn itself off if too much current flows through it. The most common way to accomplish this is to use an electromagnet, as described in How Circuit Breakers Work. When too much current flows through the electromagnet, it generates enough magnetic force to trip the circuit breaker and cut the power.

Circuit breakers are evolving. This video discusses a new circuit breaker design that is more effective:

This video explains how to test a circuit breaker:

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