Understanding Circuit Breakers and AGM Electrical Supplies: Keeping your circuits safe

Circuit Breakers play an unsung role in the homes and offices of many people. These small devices are essential to the safe and efficient operation of our electrical systems. AGM Electrical Supplies places your safety as a priority. We’re here to help you understand circuit breakers.

What Is a Circuit Breaker?

A circuit breaker, also known as an automatic electrical switch, is designed to stop the flow of electricity when it reaches a certain limit. Circuit breakers are reusable, unlike fuses that only need to be replaced once. They are therefore a convenient and cost-effective option for electrical protection.

How do circuit breakers work?

Circuit Breakers have two types of tripping mechanisms.

Thermal overload protection: The bimetallic strip will heat up when the current is excessive. It bends when it reaches the critical temperature and trips the breakers, stopping the current. This prevents gradual overloads due to too many appliances being connected on one circuit.

Protection from Magnetic Short Circuits: An abrupt surge of current, such as a short-circuit, creates a powerful magnetic field. This magnetic field triggers an automatic mechanism which trips the breakers. This prevents faults from causing fires or damaging equipment.

Circuit Breakers Types:

Miniature circuit breakers (MCBs). This is the most common type found in commercial and residential buildings. They are available in different amperage ratings for specific circuit protection.

Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupters: These GFCIs offer additional protection for areas that are prone to moisture such as bathrooms, kitchens and outdoor outlets. They detect imbalances of current flow which could indicate a shock hazard. This can trip the circuit.

Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupters: These devices can prevent electrical fires that are caused by loose connections, damaged wiring or sparks. They are increasingly common in electrical circuits for residential use.

Circuit Breakers Benefits:

Safety: By stopping the dangerous current flow, circuit breakers automatically stop electrical fires.

Convenience Circuit breakers are resettable without the need to replace them.

Reliability Modern circuit breaker are designed to last and need minimal maintenance.

Versatility Circuit Breakers are available in a variety of sizes and types to suit different electrical applications.

When you should call a qualified electrician:

Circuit breakers are a great way to protect your home, but they should not be treated as a do-it-yourself project. It’s important to contact a qualified electrician if you encounter any of these issues:

  • Circuit breakers frequently trip
  • Warmth around switches or outlets
  • Lights that flicker or sparkle
  • Electrical components emitting a burning smell

A qualified electrician will diagnose the electrical issue and make sure your circuits meet safety and code requirements.

How to Choose the Right Circuit Breaker:

Our knowledgeable staff at AGM Electrical Supplies can assist you in selecting the right circuit breaker to suit your needs. We offer a variety of reputable brands for your electrical system protection.

Consider these factors when selecting a circuit breakers:

Amperage Rated: A breaker’s amperage rating should be matched to the maximum current of the circuit that it protects.

Number Of Poles: A single-pole breaker controls one circuit while a double-pole breaker controls two circuits at the same time (often used with 220V appliances).

Ground Fault Protect (GFCI): Consider using GFCI breakers in areas prone to moisture.

Arc-Fault Protection (AFCI): AFCI breakers provide an additional layer of safety in circuits, especially bedroom circuits.


Circuit breakers play a vital role in ensuring a reliable and safe electrical system. Understanding how they function and selecting the best ones for you will help to prevent electrical hazards, and ensure that your electrical appliances are working smoothly.

Tips and Tricks from AGM Electrical Supplies:

Check your electrical panel regularly for signs of damage or excessive heat.

Do not overload circuits when plugging in multiple appliances.

A qualified electrician should inspect your electrical system periodically, particularly if you are experiencing electrical problems.

AGM Electrical Supplies places your safety first. We are committed to giving you the information and resources needed to keep your business or home electrical system operating safely.