Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Factors When Choosing An Electrical Circuit Breaker

Every home and business has an electrical circuit breaker.  Many of us have no idea what the circuit breaker really does or how it works.  A breaker is a unit that is installed that protects your circuits from becoming overloaded essentially causing a short which could create an unsafe situation.  By design, when the breaker becomes aware of a disruption in the system it breaks the electrical current flow thus protecting the rest of the circuit.
Commercial and residential electrical circuit breakers are purchased based on a number of essential factors including the vast abundance of different designs that they are sold in.  Other factors to weigh before you buy a circuit breaker include the voltage load, the mounting style and the unit’s trip style.
Voltage Load
This is a fairly obvious feature to figure out.  Commercial and industrial settings need higher voltage circuit breakers then a residential environment.  This is because of the amount of electricity that will be flowing through the circuit.  Larger equipment requires a higher amount of electricity therefore requiring a higher voltage breaker.  It is crucial when buying or selling circuit breakers that you understand what purpose the breaker is serving.  Installing a circuit that is either too big or too small can end up being detrimental.
Low Voltage Circuit Breakers: Consider this style of breaker for most residential applications.  This circuit takes a load up to 1000 volts without issue.
Medium Voltage Circuit Breakers: Consider this style breaker for commercial office buildings or residential uses when using high voltage tools.  A home wood working shop is the perfect example of a residential environment that needs more than a low voltage circuit.  A medium voltage breaker is good for circuits between 1000 to 72,000 volts.
High Voltage Circuit Breakers:  For any use that requires more than 72,000 amps of voltage this is the breaker you need.  This is what is needed for industrial and commercial applications that use large pieces of equipment for manufacturing.
Mounting Style
The manner in which a circuit breaker is mounted is also another consideration for which purchasers choose the correct mechanism for their need.  Two main styles include fixed mounting and removable mounting.  Draw out mounted breakers are used for medium voltage breakers.  Bolt on and plug in electrical circuit breakers are also options that can be obtained from companies that sell electrical equipment and supplies.
Trip Unit Type
When you are purchasing a circuit breaker you need to also take into consideration the unit’s trip type.  There are a few main types including magnetic, thermal, thermal magnetic and magnetic hydraulic trip units.  Another consideration is the temperature operating range in which the circuit breaker operates.  You want to purchase a breaker that operates at different temperature ranges.
It is important to take into consideration all of the essentials pieces of purchasing a circuit breaker before installing one in your home or business.  The electrical component will prevent accidental electrical issues from occurring down the road.  Overworking a circuit can cause shortages that will cause fuses to continually blow. This is only one disruption that can occur if a circuit is overloaded.
J&P Electrical is a full service electrical equipment company. At J&P, we supply contractors, end users and supply houses with new surplus, quality reconditioned and obsolete electrical equipment. Contact us today at for all of your bus plug, circuit breaker, switchboard, fuses, disconnects and more.

Understanding The Importance Of Proper Switchgear Maintenance

Electrical power systems, often referred to as grids, are created using a combination of electrical components.  The combination of disconnects, fuses and circuit breakers, known as a switchgear provide a way in which power equipment can be de-energized and faults can be cleared.  You often see large electrical lockers within manufacturing factories.  This is where the switchgear is located.  The switchgear, using circuit breakers and fuses help to isolate each piece of electrical equipment.  This is helpful because it allows plant managers to de-energize and repair issues to the electrical system before a breakdown occurs.
There are two main types of switchgears: high and low voltage.  High voltage switchgears are used for electrical supplies such as motors and large capacity electrical equipment requiring upwards of 35,000 volts.  Low voltage switchgear run electrical equipment under 1,000 volts.    Electrical switchgear can be found on the inside or outside of buildings.  When switchgear is located on the outside it is contained within a weatherproof metal locker.
As is the case with any equipment utilized by your company it is important to take care in preventing issues before they arise.  When it comes to care and preventative maintenance for switchgears a plant supervisor is in charge to oversee that the equipment is kept in working condition.  When the power is shut off to your plant nothing is accomplished.  Work is shut down completely and money is being lost.  When a machine breaks because a malfunction in the electrical circuit it is important to understand that maintenance could most likely have prevented the issue.
Switchgears help to protect electrical machines.  What occurs is that a breaker is tripped causing an electrical surge which indicates a fault.  With switchgear the power can be re-directed from another source on the circuit until the issue is fixed to help keep machines online.  It is always better to prevent issues with normal maintenance to your switchgear and electrical equipment then to react to the challenges that occur when power outages occur and machines are unable to function.
There are companies throughout the area that are hired specifically to maintain switchgears and other valuable electrical components to ensure they are properly maintained.  One of the methods they use is thermal imaging. When a hot spot is detected by the thermal imaging equipment it allows for the issue to be fixed before it becomes a problem.  Discover a fault and fixing it before any down time occurs saves manufacturing plants valuable resources including time and money.
J&P Electrical is a full service electrical equipment company. At J&P, we supply contractors, end users and supply houses with new surplus, quality reconditioned and obsolete electrical equipment. Contact us today at for all of your bus plug, circuit breaker, switchboard, fuses, disconnects and more.