Q:

What causes a circuit breaker to get hot?

A:

Quick Answer

Circuit breakers get hot when the current exceeds the rating of the breaker. The electricity that flows through the circuit produces heat in the unit. When that heat reaches a certain point, the breaker trips and breaks the circuit. Warmth indicates that the circuit is at or near capacity.

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What causes a circuit breaker to get hot?
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Full Answer

Circuit breakers are designed to be the weakest point in the electrical circuit to prevent potentially dangerous overheating or faults within the walls, which could start fires. If a circuit breaker becomes warm to the touch, relocate some of the devices on that circuit to reduce the load on the current.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How do you change a circuit breaker?

    A:

    To change a circuit breaker, switch off the main circuit breaker, and unscrew the load terminal wire. Remove the old breaker, and reverse the sequence used to remove it to install the new one. Use a voltage tester, a screw driver, and a new circuit breaker to complete this task.

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  • Q:

    How can you tell if a circuit breaker is bad?

    A:

    A breaker may be bad if a circuit running from the breaker panel box has lost power. A process of elimination can determine if a faulty breaker is the problem. Test to see if the breaker has simply been tripped. Firmly move the switch on the breaker from the on position to the off position and then back again.

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  • Q:

    What determines the circuit breaker size?

    A:

    The load a circuit is to carry determines the appropriate size circuit breaker. For safety, the total circuit load should be 80 percent of the breaker's capacity. This allows for factors such as ambient temperature and its effect on the operation of the circuit, according to Electrical Construction & Maintenance.

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  • Q:

    What is the function of a circuit breaker?

    A:

    The function of a circuit breaker is to cut off electrical power if wiring is overloaded with current. They help prevent fires that can result when wires are overloaded with electricity.

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