What’s The Difference Between A Safety Switch And A Circuit Breaker?

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When it comes to electrical safety, it’s essential to understand the difference between a safety switch and a circuit breaker. A safety switch protects you from potential electric shocks and other hazards, while a circuit breaker protects your electrical system from overloads and short circuits. Both are essential for ensuring the safety of your home or business.

You may be surprised to learn that many people don’t know the difference between a safety switch and a circuit breaker. If you’re in Sydney on the Northern Beaches, the North Shore or the Eastern Suburbs and are in doubt, call 0405 320 944 or contact us to book a service with a local trusted electrician.

Safety switches

A safety switch, also known as a residual current device (RCD), is designed to protect you from electric shocks. It monitors the current flowing through an electrical circuit and shuts off the power if it detects an imbalance caused by faulty wiring or an electric shock, such as accidentally touching a live wire.

It is now mandatory in all new homes and businesses in Australia to install safety switches. A certified electrician will ensure your switchboard is fitted with a safety switch and can test any existing switches to guarantee it is functioning correctly and providing maximum safety.

Circuit breakers

A circuit breaker is a device that protects your electrical system from overloads and short circuits. It detects a sudden surge of electricity and automatically shuts off the power to prevent damage to your wiring and appliances.

Circuit breakers are essential for preventing electrical fires and protecting your property from damage. They are typically found in the main switchboard of your property and can be used to isolate sections of the wiring system to make repairs.

The benefit of having a circuit breaker installed by a trusted electrician is that it will protect your appliances and wiring from being damaged due to an overload. It is also a good idea to have a circuit breaker installed in your home if you use heavy-duty electrical appliances such as an oven, washing machine, dishwasher or air conditioner.

How can I check if I have a circuit breaker or safety switch?

Look inside your electrical box to determine if you have a safety switch installed. Electricians will often label each fuse, circuit breaker and safety switch above the device. If there isn’t a label, there will likely be a switch with a “T” or Test button, a tell-tale sign of a safety switch.

Which one should I have installed?

A safety switch and a circuit breaker are essential for the safety of your home or business, so you don’t need to decide between the two. They work together to protect you and your family from the dangers of electricity and will protect your appliances from power overloads.

Can I install a safety switch or circuit breaker myself?

Avoid heading to YouTube and watching a handful of DIY tutorials. If you need to install circuit breakers or safety switches, it’s critical that you only use a qualified electrician. Attempting any electrical work yourself is potentially dangerous and could also put your home insurance at risk.

You must use a professional, licensed electrician to work on your switchboard or any other electrical fault and ensure it’s done correctly and safely. Don’t put yourself in unnecessary danger; give the team at Matty James Electrical a call and leave the job to your local Sydney electrical experts!