Electricity is found everywhere nowadays. Even if you simply rub a balloon on your cotton shirt, you will notice some small form of electricity when you touch your pal, and it shocks the two of you. In the home, electricity has become a normal part of daily life. Since there is so much electricity inside the home, it is important to have safety devices or the electricity to prevent electrocution or even fire. Even industrial electricity has safety devices to prevent these problems. In this article, you will find major things to know about electrical safety devices and how they keep you safe.
Prevention of Excessive Current
One major safety device that prevents a circuit from having an excessive current is a fuse. The fuse works by destroying itself when there happens to be an overload condition. If you’ve ever had too many things running in an outlet and threw a breaker, it is the same concept. Fuses are easy and cheap to install, but they are destroyed upon an overload.
You should note that once a fuse has blown, you need to replace that fuse right away. There are a few tips that you should remember when trying to install and maintain fuses in your home. One, fuses should never be replaced with a larger fuse since it might let in too much current and become a fire hazard. This problem is similar when replacing the fuse with a smaller option, and it might prevent the normal operation. You should never use anything but a fuse to replace the fuse because of the fire issue.
It is helpful to keep extra fuses of the right size around in the home to quickly replace the blown a fuse. You should also know exactly where your fuse box is in case you need to check or change a fuse. Before you go to change the fuse, turn everything off and unplug any items because the replacement fuse will immediately be destroyed due to the high current.
Opening the Circuit
Like a fuse, the circuit breaker prevents an overload of current, but the breaker is not destroyed. The example mentioned above with plugging in too many items might cause an overload of current and throw the breaker. It is then your job to unplug any items, go to the breaker box, and flip the switch again. Circuit breakers work by opening the circuit to prevent the overload from occurring. It also helps prevent any damage associated with overload, like a fire.
There are three different kinds of circuit breakers: thermal, thermomagnetic, and magnetic. The thermal circuit breaker will respond to any excessive heat that is generated during the overloading current. The thermomagnetic response to both a magnetic field and the heat that is generated during this overload. This can be an equivalent to a slow blow fuse. The magnetic circuit breaker responds to the magnetic field that is generated during the overloading process.
In areas of the home where water can come in contact with the plug, there are certain measures that must be taken to prevent electrocution. That is why the ground fault circuit interrupter, or the GFCI, is mandatory in kitchens and bathrooms. These are put in place to help prevent electrocution should water come in contact with the electrical outlet where the electric current is moving. The GFCI works by pushing the electric current out of the outlet and into the wall socket instead of going through an individual to hit the ground. Since water and plumping are ample paths to the ground, this electrical safety device must be installed.
One should always exercise caution when using any electrical devices near the bathtub or the sinks in your home. These are important features, but the GFCI shouldn’t be relied on since it is a last minute resort. You can always test your GFCI by pushing the “test” button on the outlet. It turns off the electricity to prevent someone from getting electrocuted. You can test it by plugging in a nightlight and pushing the button. If the light turns off, then the GFCI is still in working condition. If the light doesn’t turn off, the outlet should be replaced right away.