Month: January 2015

Guide to Buying An Electrical Circuit Breaker

A large safety concern in both residential and commercial buildings is overloading or causing a short circuit within the electrical circuit.  The component that is used to prevent this from occurring is an electrical circuit breaker.  A circuit breaker is used to protect the circuits within your home or business.  If a fault is detected within the circuit the system will cause a break in the electrical current flow causing the system to come to a halt.

The type of circuit breaker you choose to purchase will depend on a number of things.  In order to purchase the correct electrical circuit breaker you need to clearly understand your needs and the needs that will be placed on the system.  When purchasing a new or refurbished circuit breaker, your electrical supplier will discuss several factors with you to help you select the best breaker for your needs.

The first thing an electrical supply company will ask you about when purchasing a circuit breaker is the amount of electricity that will be flowing through the breaker.  The voltage load of the circuit breaker you choose will depend heavily on the equipment that will be used on the circuit as well as the overall load of electricity that will run through the circuit.

There are three main voltage categories when it comes to circuit breakers.  Low voltage circuit breakers are used in residential electrical circuits.  A low voltage electrical circuit breaker works best in households and can handle a max load of 1000 volts.  Medium electrical circuit breakers are suitable for buildings and office settings.  A medium breaker is good for use when voltage requirements are between 1000 and 72,000 volts.  Large electrical circuit breakers handle voltage loads upwards of 72,000.  Large breakers are typically used for high voltage power transmission lines.

The next consideration of various circuit breakers is the mounting style.  The two main components are fixed mounted circuit breakers and removable mounted circuit breakers.  A fixed mounted circuit breaker is mounted so that it cannot be removed without removing the main connections and mounting supports.  A removable mounted circuit breaker has two parts, the base and the actual breaker.  The base is bolted and hardwired to the frame where is the breaker is plugged into the base.  This system can be replaced without having to rewire.

Another consideration is the type of trip unit you would like the breaker to be on.  There are two main types of trip units, magnetic and thermal.  Also consider the operating temperature range when purchasing an electrical circuit breaker.  Different components work better than others at different temperature ranges.

The best place to purchase an electrical circuit breaker is with the help of an online new, used and refurbished electrical component supplier.  They will have the best inventory in stock and are familiar with a variety of circumstances.  Use their experience to help you choose the best circuit breaker for your commercial or residential use.

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 Circuit Breaker Voltage

Circuit breakers are an electrical device that is used to automatically break a path that has become overloaded. They are used to prevent major fires or electrical disasters to your home or business as a safety precaution. In order to decide what breaker is the perfect choice for your needs you will need to consider the voltage that you will be using, the point at which you wish the circuit to trip and the overload protection needed.

The most common type of breaker that is used is a low voltage breaker which is ideal for residential use. There are several different types of breakers, low voltage are just the most common. Low voltage circuit breakers are easy to install because using them only requires the installation of one general breaker panel.

There are other types of circuit breakers including miniature circuit breakers, molded case circuit breakers, medium voltage circuit breakers and high voltage breakers. Depending on your need, commercial or residential, will depend on which type of breaker will be best for you.

Miniature circuit breakers are the lowest voltage breaker that is available. They are known to carry electricity of only 100 amps. Miniature circuit breakers are capable of holding electrical charges of no more than 1,000 amps.

Molded case circuit breakers are the ideal breaker for 1,000 amps of electricity. They safely disconnect when that goes beyond ten times the capacity. They are often called magnetic circuit breakers. They are called this because they use electromagnetic power solenoid’s to break the circuit when the flow exceeds capacity.

A medium voltage breaker has a capacity of between 1,000 and 72,000 amps before they break. The performance is relative to which brand and model you choose. You will often see these breakers used in larger buildings and businesses. You will find them in cabinets indoors and switchboxes which are enclosed. There are three breaker sub types within the medium voltage breaker category: SF6, air and sub-type breakers.

High voltage circuit breakers are those that are capable of holding more than 72,500 volts of electricity. These breakers are usually found outdoors with high voltage power lines. These circuits are controlled with a solenoid switch that activates the arc-chamber when too much electricity flows through.

When considering a breaker it is important to consider the voltage as well as the trip point. The trip point when the breaker will trip should be set at a point comfortable that it prevents your wiring from overheating. When your breaker is overloaded you want to be sure it trips and electricity current is no longer flowing. This is crucial to prevent major electrical accidents and fire from overloaded circuits.

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.