ANSWERS: 1
  • A breaker box is also called a circuit panel, junction box or fuse box, and it connects your home to the unlimited power of a municipal or rural grid.

    Identification

    Nearly every household has at least one breaker box. Usually located in an accessible yet out-of-the-way spot such as a utility closet, basement, or near the back door, it's a metal rectangular box with a hinged cover.

    Function

    The electrical cable from your power provider enters your breaker box and feeds a series of circuit breakers, each of which are wired to an electric "run" that distributes power to lights and electrical outlets in specific rooms.

    Features

    Each unit in your breaker box has an on/off switch. In the event of a power overload or a faulty connection, the switch will automatically flip to "off" to protect your electrical system and avoid the dangers of a disconnected hot wire.

    Repair

    Once an electrician repairs the problem, flipping the circuit breaker back on allows current to resupply power to its electrical run.

    Capacity

    Circuits in a breaker box have a 110-volt or 220-volt capacity. If too many appliances are plugged into the same circuit, exceeding its capacity, the circuit will trip from the overload.

    Benefits

    Without the system of checks and balances created by the breaker box, the fire hazard associated with unchecked use of electricity would be too great a risk to overcome.

    Source:

    Home Tips: The Main Electrical Panel, Circuit Breakers & Subpanels

    Reader's Digest: Why Circuit Breakers Trip

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