Pushmatic Circuit Breakers

Written by Will Baum
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Pushmatic circuit breakers do a terrific job of keeping your house standing while electrical current rushes through it. Though we have, over the years, learned to control electricity and put it to use in our everyday lives, electricity still can be unpredictable. Without devices like Pushmatic circuit breakers, that unpredictability could often become disastrous.

One electrician has on display a photo of a breaker board burnt to a crisp. What once was a neat row of circuit breakers is now an ashy, twisted, melted mess. What happened? The electrician has the answer: A woman had installed a hydro-massage tub without a permit. When the power went out in the bathroom, she went to the circuit breaker box and flipped a few unmarked switches. None helped, so she flipped the master switch on and off quickly. It sparked. Soon the breaker box was in flames.

This isn't a happy story. You don't want a circuit breaker box to ever go up in smoke. But imagine what might have happened without the circuit breaker box. That woman's hydro-massage bath might have been her last.

How Pushmatic Circuit Breakers Work

Pushmatic circuit breakers operate on the principle that there is only so much current that your household appliances can handle. If a surge from outside or demand from inside exceeds that amount, then the circuit breaker says, "No can do!" The current is cut off. Chaos is averted. Circuit breakers are one of the dozens of little devices that usually go unnoticed, but perform an essential task in maintaining our relatively havoc-free environment.

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