What are Miniature Circuit Breakers?

When there’s too much current in a certain path of electrical wiring, whether it is in a commercial or residential establishment, the miniature circuit breaker is there to the rescue. This simple device could be of big help for faulty wiring or short circuits. It is designed to protect the electrical circuit from damage caused by overload.

By definition, a miniature circuit breaker or MCB is an electromagnetic device which opens the circuit automatically when the current passing through it overloads.

MCB vs. Fuse

If there are extreme currents present in an electrical circuit, the fuse or the MCB is tripped. Although they both protect an overloaded electrical circuit by disrupting the flow of electric current, most people make use of MCBs instead of fuses because of these reasons.

  1. In cases like overheating, a fuse melts and breaks apart which cuts off the supply of current. A circuit breaker, on the other hand, will only trip its internal switch mechanism.
  2. A fuse does not sense if there are malfunctions in the circuit while an MCB does because it is sensitive and can detect current easily.
  3. An MCB can be used multiple times while a fuse can just be used once.
  4. MCBs are more expensive to install than traditional fuses which can be purchased in any hardware store. This alone is a clear indication that MCBs promote security better than fuses.
  5. Once a fuse blows in a fuse box, it needs to be replaced. The MCB, on the other hand, can just be reset since it just trips its internal wiring.

How do they work?

A miniature circuit breaker permits current to bypass from underneath the terminal to its upper parts across the electromagnet strip when the switch is on. There are instances when the intensity of the current reaches levels that are hazardous. At this point, the metal bar inside the switch mechanism breaks contact with the electromagnet inside, and the current stops flowing.

However, if you use an MCB, the switch can be turned back on if the MCB is reset. The circuit will then be reconnected. Miniature circuit breakers can be found in a circuit breaker box which typically houses several individual switches.

So would using MCBs be recommendable?

Since an MCB is safer than a regular fuse, it’s definitely recommendable. A miniature circuit breaker is a protective device for tripping switches which can be reset and then reclosed once the problem has been resolved.

That the main purpose of the miniature circuit breaker is to break the circuit’s connection on every occasion that the current goes beyond the secure and safe level – it’s there for backup.

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