Difference between a switch and a circuit breaker
Switch vs circuit breaker:
It is of no absolute doubt that switches and circuit breakers are essential items in every household. Not only they are of an acute use which makes day to day activity of a human much easier, they keep one safe from accidents as well. Therefore, one must know the differences between these two uber commodious items which are found in every household.
What is a switch?
A switch performs the role of creating an air insulation gap which cut out or reconnects the electric supply which is provided to an electric appliance. When needed to turn the appliance on, a click on the switch makes sure that the circuit is complete so that the electricity can run all the way through the appliance and in to where the supply is necessary. When it needs to be turned off, a click on the switch will ensure that this circuit is broken so that the power supply is cut off from the main power line.
Switches are used for turning on light bulbs, on electric appliances such as electric kettles, hair dryers, power outlets, etc.
What is a circuit breaker?
A circuit breaker is similar to a fuse. It is used for opening or closing a circuit under emergency circumstances, it can automatically breakdown the malfunctioning equipment or separation the circuit thus providing protection.
A circuit breaker’s internal contact will produce a separation in the electric arc which is usually stronger when the voltage is higher or the electric current is bigger, instantaneously. The arc extinguishing organization in a circuit extinguishes this arc in a very short time which will in turn cause a safe separation in the circuit. This happens when a certain threshold is crossed in the providing of voltage in the system, so that the circuit components are saved from damage.
What is the difference between a switch and a circuit breaker?
While both the switch and the circuit breaker performs the function of cutting off the circuit which carries voltage throughout the appliances, there are certain differences that set them apart. Whereas a switch is something that one uses when that particular function or appliance is no longer of any use to the user with the simple function of shutting it off, a circuit breaker breaks a circuit when a sudden overload of electric flow occurs which threatens the safety of the system. This type of electric overload can even create fires and are therefore, extremely dangerous. Thus a circuit breaker’s role is preventing damage to sensitive electrical appliances as well as providing security. A switch does not provide this function.
A switch is manually operated whereas a circuit breaker often is not. It automatically detects an electrical overload and breaks the circuit which can potentially cause harm to the system. Also, while a circuit breaker possess strong arc extinguishing function which shuts off under a belt load, a switch does not have such a function and shuts off under a small load.
While a switch is an isolator, the circuit breaker acts on behalf of the whole switch board. A switch isolates a particular household appliance for example, a light switch. A circuit breaker acts for the whole power system.
Whereas a circuit breaker may just be an advanced version of a switch which has the liberty to operate passively when a switch needs to be operated by a person. Therefore, one can see certain similarities between these two functions as well as some blaring differences which most undoubtedly, set them apart.