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A circuit breaker is an electrical safety device designed to protect an electrical circuit from damage caused by an overcurrent or short circuit. Its basic function is to interrupt current flow to protect equipment and to prevent the risk of fire. Unlike a fuse, which operates once and then must be replaced, a circuit breaker can be reset (either manually or automatically) to resume normal operation.

Circuit breakers are made in varying sizes, from small devices that protect low-current circuits or individual household appliances, to large switchgear designed to protect high voltage circuits feeding an entire city. The generic function of a circuit breaker, or fuse, as an automatic means of removing power from a faulty system, is often abbreviated as OCPD (Over Current Protection Device). Also, there are many different types of Smart Circuit BreakerEwelink WIFI Circuit BreakerTuya WIFI Circuit BreakerRS485 Circuit BreakerRemote Control Circuit BreakerZigbee Circuit BreakerSolar Systems Circuit BreakerAutomatic Recloser Circuit BreakerDC WIFI Circuit BreakerRS485 DC Circuit Breaker, etc.

Differences amoung overcurrents, overloads and short circuits

Overcurrents

NEC defines and overcurrent as any current in excess of the rated current of equipment of the ampacity of a conductor. An over current is the result of an overload, short circuit, arc or ground fault. Effects of overcurrent include fires, conductor insulation damage and equipment damage.

Overloads

According to NEC, an overload is the operation of equipment in excess of normal, full-load rating, or of a conductor in excess of rated ampacity that, when it persists for a sufficient length of time would cause damage or dangerous overheating. An overload is NOT a short circuit, ground or arc fault.

Short Circuits