It is a protection device that protects any circuit against overloading and short circuit.It breaks the circuit when the supplied current exceeds a certain limit. It senses the current flow in only the hot wire.
It protects the circuit from overloading and catching fire due to heat. It does not break the circuit due to electrical shock but current flowing through a person except if the current exceeds the breaker rating.The rated current is usually very high.
There are no "test and reset" button on a simple circuit breaker. There is no "test button" to verify if the circuit breaker is working properly. It needs to be reset manually from the main breaker panel. It is installed in the main breaker box. Every room or a specific area must have a circuit breaker. It breaks the current supply to every power point or appliances in that area.The circuit breaker are cheaper than ground fault circuit interrupter.
Ground fault circuit interrupter.
It is a protection device that protects any circuit against leakage current. It breaks the circuit when there is a current leakage in the circuit. It senses the current in both hot wire and neutral wire.
It protects the person from getting an electrical shock. It will not break the circuit due to overloading or short circuit in the appliance.The rated leakage current is very low below 6 milliamps.There are "test and reset" buttons on a ground fault circuit interrupter.
The "test button" allow you to verify its leakage current detection. It needs to be reset by pushing the button on the same outlet.
Ground fault circuit interrupter outlets are installed at power points while ground fault circuit interrupter circuit breakers are installed in the main breaker box. According to national electrical code, ground fault circuit interrupter must be installed in wet locations such as the bathroom, kitchen, outdoor etc.
The ground fault circuit interrupter being an outlet, breaks the supply only to the appliances connected to it.The ground fault circuit interrupter are expensive than a circuit breaker.
The conclusion of the above is that the circuit breaker and ground fault circuit interrupter both must be used in a building to offer protection against electrical accidents, but the ground fault circuit interrupter must be used in wet locations to prevent electrical shock while the circuit breaker must be used in the electrical panels to prevent electrical fire due to overload and short circuit.
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