Surges and circuit breakers: what prevents them from happening?
Do circuit breakers prevent a surge from damaging your equipment?
As your local electrician in Brisbane, we are often asked this question, and the correct answer is “No!”.
There is a lot of misunderstanding when it comes to comprehending the difference between a circuit breaker and a safety switch. Homeowners think that either can intercept a power surge or prevent electrocution if a fault occurs.
The function of these two items, however, is vastly different, and neither will protect your appliances or your valuable computer in the event of a power surge.
We all know that a power surge, which can occur at any time, can damage electrical equipment.
Storms and storm surges
Brisbane locals probably think that storms and lightning strikes are the causes of power surges. Yes, they can occur during a thunderstorm. When lightning strikes near power lines, it can inject several million volts into the power grid.
It’s never too late to unplug your computer and unplug the power connection from the wall if you know a storm is coming. A power surge will still enter a plugged-in appliance, even if the wall switch is turned off, and it can do the same to your other electronics, such as laptops, televisions and kitchen appliances. It’s a perfect idea to do this when you travel: unplug the appliances you want to take care of.
However, the bad news is that even with a surge protector (that’s the device’s name that stops surges).
If such a massive surge occurs and you have a surge protector, it probably won’t be able to prevent your electrical appliances from being damaged. The only safe thing to do is unplug your appliances (remember to unplug them).
If a surge occurs for any other reason, such as a breakdown, fire or downed power line, and this causes a major power outage, then surge protection devices (surge protectors) work, and your licensed electrician in Brisbane can install them.
If you are building a new home, it is highly recommended that they are installed to protect all the building services that newer homes are built with.
What is a circuit breaker?
They are the modern version of a fuse and only protect the circuits in a home or building. For example, if a higher than average current is flowing, an appliance is faulty (usually a toaster or kettle), or a plug is overloaded, the circuit breaker will trip and cut off the current if it detects a high current fault.
What is a safety circuit breaker?
Safety circuit breakers (also known as RCDs) are not the same as circuit breakers, and many people confuse the two devices. The sole purpose of a safety circuit breaker or RCD is to protect people and save lives.
Safety circuit breakers control the flow of electricity in a circuit and detect irregularities in the electrical current.
The RCD activates almost immediately and cuts off the power to that circuit in 0.03 seconds, which is less than the time of a heartbeat. This prevents any electric shock.
Avoiding electrical hazards is something every home owner must do.
All new homes are required by law to be equipped with safety switches.
Older houses built before introducing safety switches are not required to have them, but the law requires that a licensed electrician install the appropriate safety switches and circuit breakers when an older house is upgraded.
All Australian states have slightly different laws regarding electrical safety. Therefore, it is best to check with your trusted electrician for applicable laws and regulations.
Your trusted electrician near you!
At Multivolt Services, we keep up to date with the latest legislation and standards that electricians in Brisbane must comply with. We attend all training seminars and keep updated with Queensland guidelines to ensure we always do the right thing.
If you are getting a new home, we recommend that you make sure the necessary circuit protectors are correctly installed before you move in, and we are the electrician near you who can do that for you.
For more information on protecting your home with current circuit protectors, contact us today
We may perform a safety inspection or an electrical audit on your property. This will protect your home and appliances from electrical faults and protect your loved ones from electrocution. A simple safety switch will give you a sense of security.
Contact us today for a free safety audit when you have your next electrical work done in your home.