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Homework Help: Circuit Breakers

  1. Apr 29, 2010 #1
    Here is my attempt at explaining how a circuit breaker works, is it correct?

    A circuit breaker works due to the residual current - the difference in current going through the live wire and passing out through the neutral wire.

    Normally, the current going in and out of a system is equal so there is an equal attraction of the iron armature to both the lower and upper parts of the system.

    When the system is faulty, the current leaving the system is lower than that entering. Hence the magnetic field of the neutral wire is lower. This means the iron armature is moved out of its position towards the live wire, breaking the circuit.

    Flicking a switch would return the armature to its original position

    q1) is my explanation correct
    q2) how does it differ if the current is to high, or is it the same thing?
  2. jcsd
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