Molded Case Circuit Breakers

Written by Will Baum
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Molded case circuit breakers aren't what you're used to seeing when you open the circuit breaker enclosure in your backyard. Molded case circuit breakers are serious devices made for serious power control. All circuit breakers operate on the same principles. When power surges above an acceptable current, the circuit breaker cuts the arc, denying the flow of power, and therefore of the surge itself.

Different circuit breakers use different methods to shut power down. Vacuum circuit breakers use a gush of air to stop current from flowing. Typical backyard breakers physically break the connection, snapping open and remaining that way till they are manually reset. All circuit breakers--from simple breakers to molded case circuit breakers--are regulated by standards maintained by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA).

NEMA was formed on September 1, 1926. NEMA began with three distinct divisions: a Supply Division, an Apparatus Division, and a Policy Division. Working with manufacturers, insurance companies, and labor, the New York City based organization soon ratified its constitution and set to work. By 1927, NEMA's ranks had swelled. New committees were formed and careful administration over standards and practices for the industry were written and rewritten.

Buying Molded Case Circuit Breakers

Because of the work of associations like NEMA, you don't have to worry about whether or not the molded case circuit breakers you install are up to the job. All molded case circuit breakers--and all other types of circuit breakers--are built to exacting specifications. The job they are required to do is too important to leave to any degree of improvisation.


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