What Are the Differences Between Circuit Breakers and GFCI

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What Are the Differences Between Circuit Breakers and GFCI

Most of us know that we need circuit breakers and Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI) in our homes, but do we really know what they are and what they do? Do we know the difference between the two?

What Are They?

Before we discuss the differences, let’s define what circuit breakers and Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI) are.

Circuit Breakers

In short, circuit breakers are devices that shut off the flow of electricity to a particular circuit in your home when there is an overload of electricity. This prevents your circuit from overheating and potentially starting a fire.

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI) are similar in that they shut off the flow of electricity, but they do so when there is an imbalance in the circuit. This usually indicates a ground fault, which can be dangerous as it can lead to an electrical shock.

The Differences Between the Two

So, what are the key differences between circuit breakers and GFCI outlets?

How They Work

First, let’s take a look at how they work. Circuit breakers work by detecting when there is too much current flowing through a circuit and then cutting off the flow of electricity. This prevents your circuit from overheating and potentially starting a fire. Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) work by detecting when there is an imbalance in the circuit. This usually indicates a ground fault, which can be dangerous as it can lead to an electrical shock.

Location

Secondly, circuit breakers are typically found in your main electrical panel, while GFCIs can be found in outlets, or as part of an electrical circuit.

Flow of Electricity

Thirdly, circuit breakers will shut off the flow of electricity to an entire circuit, while GFCIs will only shut off the flow of electricity to the particular outlet or circuit that is imbalanced.

Level of Protection

Finally, it’s important to note that GFCIs provide a higher level of protection than circuit breakers. This is because GFCIs can detect a ground fault even when there is no current flowing through the circuit. Circuit breakers, on the other hand, can only detect an overloaded circuit.

So, there you have it! These are the key differences between circuit breakers and GFCIs. Now that you know the difference, you can be sure to use the right device for the job.

Call Miami Electric Masters Today

Our Miami electric company runs on excellence, delivering top-tier electrical work to Miami homes. Our company was built to break down the stereotypes of the typical Miami electrician, delivering a superior level of on-time, on-budget, and on-schedule work.

Our customers have been raving about Miami Electric Masters, and we’re honored to continue revolutionizing the industry and establishing ourselves as an industry leader for safe, innovative, and efficient electrical work. Give us a call today at 786-876-7094.

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