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FAQ/Answer

How does a circuit breaker or fuse operate?

Wire heats when an electric current passes through it. If the same current passes through both a small wire and a large wire, the smaller will reach a higher temperature. A fuse uses this principle to protect the wiring in a building. It has a small, short wire of low melting temperature metal connected in such a manner that all current passing through the circuit must also pass through the fuse. A circuit breaker uses a tiny heating element to heat a thermostat, which interrupts the current when the maximum safe amount is reached.



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