Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between a Switch and Circuit Breaker

Switch vs Circuit Breaker

Similar to a fuse, a circuit breaker is used to protect the electrical system of a particular house or building. An overload of electrical flow can happen sometimes and if you do not have something installed to protect you from this sudden surge of electricity, you might end up with damaged appliances and other sensitive electronic equipment. Perhaps, the worst thing that can happen is having fire inside your house brought by electrical overloads.

Circuit breakers are very effective in preventing these disasters. They will instantly block or stop an incoming electrical power surge before it does any damage.

The crudest type of circuit breaker is the fuse. Most would consider that a fuse is different than a circuit breaker. That may be true, but technically, fuse qualifies as circuit breaker because it does just that ‘“ it breaks a circuit. Fuses are still in use today but are gradually getting obsolete.

However, this article shall deal with the newer circuit breakers, the improved fuses, if you will. Typical circuit breakers basically use electromagnetism to accomplish its tasks. Sudden excess of electrical power triggers an inherent electromagnet to trip off the circuit breaker. In essence, the circuit breaker is an automatic off switch which operates when it detects faults (e.g. overloads, short circuit, low voltage) before it does damage to the overall electrical circuit.

There different types of circuit breakers. Some are created specifically to detect critical low voltages; others are purely for overloads and extreme power surges. There are also thermal circuit breakers and others are designed for industrial use.

Installing circuit breakers can save you a lot of money. It will save you from the major headache of doing extensive circuit repairs. Once it trips, all you need to do is find the usually minor problem in your circuit that creates the fault. When the repair is done, just switch the circuit breaker on again for normal circuit operation. If the fault is not resolved, the circuit breaker may just trip off again ‘“ still no harm done.

When you come to think of it, circuit breakers are just hi-tech switches but unlike your ordinary switch, they are used passively. They are just there for a specific purpose. Ordinary switches, on the other hand, allow the user the liberty to cut off power supply to a certain area or equipment.


1. Switches are not automatic as they need to be manually turned on or off while circuit breakers just trips off on certain conditions.

2. Switches allow users to cut off power supply to a certain area or equipment while circuit breakers are more preventive in nature.

3. Circuit breakers are essentially automatic off switches designed for a very specific purpose, which is to prevent unnecessary electrical circuit damage.

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  1. Require more details , difference between Breaker and switch.

  2. how does electricty object unit

  3. why does many electrict engineer have no permit office

  4. Does it pose a problem if one purposely trips the circuit to turn off a given set of electrical currents for overnight purposes to reinitiate in the morning?

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