847-832-0700 1946-D Lehigh Ave
Glenview, IL 60026

Circuit Breaker Service

Circuit breakers are the heart of any electrical system. They are the first line of defense against overload situations and short circuits. Most people don’t understand the difference between the two but they are very different.

The overload situation is when too many current consuming devices are on the same circuit. Appliances, Light fixtures, portable heaters and hair dryers are examples of current consuming devices. Switches and circuit breakers are not. For example if you have a 15 amp circuit with 6 amps of lighting on that circuit and you plug in and turn on a 1500 watt electric hair dryer that hair dryer will draw 12.5 amps. That means there is a total of 18.5 amps on a 15 amp circuit breaker. The circuit breaker will trip and go to the tripped position. If the electric hair dryer is not unplugged and the 6 amps of lighting are still on you can reset that breaker all day and it will never hold. In order to reset the breaker you need to turn the breaker to off from the tripped position and then back to on. This is a pretty common occurrence and most homeowners can figure out after a while what they are plugging in or turning on to cause the overload situation.

The short circuit situation is when there is an actual “short” circuit. The term comes from the fact that power leaves the circuit breaker on the black or red wire from the electrical panel and runs to all the devices in the circuit. When electricity is consumed by a light bulb or any other load it leaves on the black “hot” wire and returns back to the panel on the white “neutral” wire. If anywhere in the circuit for example say a lamp the black wire or any surface that is energized by the black wire touches the white wire or any surface that is connected to the white wire that is a short circuit. When that happens the current flows as fast as it can go and trips the breaker immediately.

Circuit breakers trip in two different ways. This is called inverse time tripping. In an overload situation where more and more loads are added to a circuit it doesn’t trip right away. A 15 amp breaker might actually hold 16 or 17 amps for a short time and then trip. In a short circuit situation the breaker should trip in milliseconds.

As long as the electrical panel that the breaker is installed in is in good condition any circuit breaker can be replaced. Constant overloading of a breaker can cause it to wear out. If a homeowner suspects an overload situation they can try to trouble shoot the problem themselves. Not plugging in the electric hair dryer in the example above would take care of that. In the situation of a short circuit they might be better off calling a professional.

Our Clients Reviews

Professional, prompt, and easy to work with.  I highly recommend them!

It was a big job to get 240V from the house to the detached garage.  Current Electric did a beautiful job and was very easy to work with.  I highly recommend Current Electric.  I thought the price for their work was very reasonable too.

Great Company!  Great Service!

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Current Electrical Contractors, Inc.

847-832-0700

1946-D Lehigh Ave, Glenview, IL 60026

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