Safety is incredibly important – and whilst practically everyone understands the gravity of this (and agrees with this), few actually understand how this safety comes about, especially when it comes to electricity and electrical appliances. We should be forgiven; few of us understand the inner workings of electricity and how to protect ourselves.
However, we should all be informed, especially when it comes to the basics. Miniature circuit breakers have been used for years, and for good reason. They are, after all, much safer than their more traditional counterparts. But what are they exactly? And why are they better? Here’s why miniature circuit breakers are better than fuses for your business premises.
What’s the danger?
During normal conditions, your electricity flows from your provider to your building (through your internal network) to your appliances without any problem. If, however, you have a faulty appliance, or certain wires which are wrongly connected, you can get a problem with an overload or short-circuit. This is a big problem because your wiring gets heated up, appliances start smoking, and the danger of fire (amongst others) becomes very real. It’s for these reasons that fuses and circuit breakers are installed – to cut the flow of electricity when something goes wrong, so that the worst is avoided.
How fuses work
Fuses are able to break the electrical flow using thermo-electrical properties; once a short-circuit or overload of electricity is in progress, the electricity that runs through the fuse heats up a wire designed with a specific threshold. Once this wire overheats and breaks, the electrical current can no longer travel, the connection is broken and further damage is avoided.
How miniature circuit breakers work
Miniature breakers work in the same way – except that they are much safer because they don’t rely on the burning of a wire. Once an overload or short-circuit is in progress, the mechanism activates a magnet (by electromagnetic force) which throws a switch and breaks the circuit. There is no heat necessary, and there is no need to replace any parts.
Why MCBs are better
Here are some of the basic advantages over fuses:
- MCBs do not need to be replaced and are therefore much more economical in the long run
- Easy reset – simply flip a switch
- Much safer since the owner of the building is not exposed to electrical wiring.
To be fair, we do have to mention that the miniature circuit breaker may be more expensive than the more traditional fuse – but on the other hand, when you think about the amount of safety it provides, it’s really not an expense; it’s an investment in safety, and it’s always hard to argue with that. It’s a matter of priorities, after all. There’s no substitute for your and your employees’ wellbeing and protection.