The Difference Between Safety Switches and Circuit Breakers

Monday, September 9, 2019
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Although safety switches and circuit breakers both promote safety and prevent damage to you and your property, they are two different devices. Unfortunately, there are a lot of misunderstandings about these two electrical safety devices and can be confusing.

These are crucial electrical components that provide safety to you and your family, so it is important to know the differences between the two. We will explain these two electrical materials that are often confused with each other as they actually serve completely different functions.

The main difference between them is that one protects people and the other a dwelling.  The safety switch, which is also known as the Residual Current Device (RCD) protects humans from electrical accidents and a circuit breaker, also referred to as a fuse protects the electrical systems and wiring in your house, office or other building.

Safety switches are a mandatory installation in homes and offices. This device is installed in the switchboard to protect you from electrocution and fires that can be caused due to electrical defaults.

This safety switch checks the current passing through the live wires that are responsible for supplying current to the equipment or electrical systems.

If the safety switch detects an imbalance in the current, it cut-offs the power supply within 0.03 of a second.  The imbalance may occur many reasons such as faulty appliances, damaged wiring, nuisance tripping, bad weather, and/or defective switches.  These safety witches protect lives by turning the power to the circuit off.

Circuit breakers or fuses are installed in the main switchboard. They protect the electrical circuits in your homes and offices. It cuts off the power supply if it detects high current flow or overload.   This also can happen for various reasons such as circuit overloads, short circuits, and ground fault surges.

They can be operated manually or automatically. Although the circuit breaker may appear similar to a safety switch, it does not protect people from electric shocks.

Lakepointe Electric has been in the electric industry servicing both residential and commercial builders since 1998 for both scheduled services and 24-hour emergency electrical services. Our expert electrical services are offered to all homeowners, contractors, builders and anyone else who may be in need of electric lighting or wiring work.

If you are looking to inspect or improve the electrical safety in your home or business,  give Lakepointe Electric a call today at 586-204-8451.  You can also reach out to us on the contact form on our website.