What is the difference between a circuit breaker and a fuse

A fuse is a piece of wire that melts when too much current flows through it, breaking the circuit and stopping the flow of electricity. A circuit breaker, on the other hand, is a switch that can be turned off and on. When too much current flows through a circuit breaker, it trips the switch and breaks the circuit.

Circuit breakers

A circuit breaker is an automatically operated electrical switch designed to protect an electrical circuit from damage caused by overload or short circuits. , a circuit breaker can be reset (either manually or automatically) to resume normal operation.

Circuit breakers are essential safety devices in any electrical system, and they come in a variety of sizes and configurations to meet the specific needs of the circuits they are protecting. The three most common types of circuit breakers are

-Solid State

Thermal-magnetic circuit breakers are the most common type of breaker used in residential and light commercial applications. They combine both magnetic and thermal effects to provide protection against both types of faults.

Solid-state circuit breakers use semiconductor devices to detect faults and provide protection. They are typically used in medium-voltage applications such as distribution systems.

Air-blast circuit breakers use high-pressure air to extinguish arcs when interrupting current flow. These types of breakers are typically used in high-voltage applications such as transmission systems.


Fuses have been around for longer than circuit breakers, and they work by interrupting the flow of electricity when there is an overload. Fuses are made of a metal wire that melts when too much current flows through it. This interrupts the circuit and prevents further damage. Fuses must be replaced once it burns out.

Advantages of a circuit breaker over  a fuse

One advantage of circuit breakers over fuses is that they can be reset after they trip, while fuses must be replaced. This can be convenient in situations where an electrical circuit has been overloaded but not damaged. Circuit breakers can also be used as switches to turn off power to a circuit without having to disconnect any wires.

Another advantage of circuit breakers is that they provide protection against both overloads and short circuits, while fuses only provide protection against overloads. Short circuits occur when there is a sudden reduction in the resistance of an electrical conductor, which can cause a large amount of current to flow through the conductor and potentially damage it. Circuit breakers will trip when there is a sudden drop in voltage or an increase in current, which protects the conductor from damage.


Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

By DD Editor

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