The Difference Between a Circuit Breaker and a Safety Switch

Most people tend to think that a safety switch is just another name for a circuit breaker. Actually, these two are very different elements of your home electrical circuit. Both relate to making your home’s electric circuitry safer. Once you know the differences between the two, it is easy to see why you should have these installed at your home. A professional licensed electrical service in your locality can handle the installation easily. 

What is a Circuit Breaker?

A circuit breaker is designed to protect the electrical circuit at your home or office when there is an overload of power. They automatically cut the power when there is an excess of electrical current flowing through the circuit, thereby preventing overheating. Such a timely intervention is important to avoid electrical fires on your property. 

What is a Safety Switch?

The safety switch is a similar device that quickly switches off the electric supply if any fault is determined in the electric circuit. The main purpose of a safety switch is to prevent people from getting an electric shock and also to prevent fires from happening. If the safety switch detects a residual current that can cause an electric shock, it can automatically switch off the power supply within 0.3 seconds. This is also why it is known as the RCD or a Residual Current Device. 

Types of Safety Switch

Furthermore, there are three types of safety switches. A circuit breaker does not have any such kind of classification. You need to contact a licensed electrician to have these installed. 

Switchboard Safety Switch

These are installed on individual circuits. They are used to protect selected electrical circuits. They also act as a protection against electric shock from extension cords and electrical appliances connected to the protected power points. 

Power point Safety Switch

These switches replace an existing power point. They protect against electric shock from appliances and extension cords plugged into the switch. These also offer protection against electrical wiring on the same circuit. 

Portable Safety Switch

These are essentially protective devices used by electricians when there is no access to switchboard or power point safety switches. These protect the user from the faults in the equipment plugged into them. It is used by directly plugging it in the power point. 

You should have a safety switch

A law passed in 1991 required all new homes to have safety switches installed in the electrical systems. If your home is older than 1991, it may not have it. In that case, you need the services of a licensed electrician to have it installed. Voltage electric is well-recommended in Perth for the excellent quality of service. You can contact us anytime regarding your electrical requirements.