Best method to test Circuit Breakers?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by Art, Nov 23, 2007.

  1. Art

    Thread Starter Distinguished Member

    Sep 10, 2007
    785
    61
    Hi Guys,
    I have some circuit breakers that I'd like to identify.
    Is there an easy way to tell how many amps they will cut out at
    without a bunch of power supplies with known ratings?
    Thanks, Art.
     
  2. thingmaker3

    Retired Moderator

    May 16, 2005
    5,072
    6
    You'll need a supply capable of exceeding the breaker's current rating, and a variable or switched resistance capable of dissipating not less than (breaker's Ampere rating * test voltage). Ohm's Law applies, as always. :)
     
  3. eeboy

    Active Member

    Sep 27, 2007
    90
    1
    You could simulate an over current condition on the bench but depending on the rated trip current of your breakers this could be a bit impractical. What type of breakers are these? They should be marked.

    One thing you'll have to keep in mind is that there is a time current characteristic curve associated with all breakers (TCCC). Your tripping point is not a set value. It is defined by the TCCC. This curve basically relates the tripping time to the current. However, you should still be able to identify the breakers nominal trip point.
     
  4. Art

    Thread Starter Distinguished Member

    Sep 10, 2007
    785
    61
    Thanks for the replies. I guess I was being silly hoping there was an easy way like just
    asking it or something.
    I'll link to a picture in a minute.
    I think the one I'm looking at is 6 Amp, but can't use it till I'm sure.
     
  5. Art

    Thread Starter Distinguished Member

    Sep 10, 2007
    785
    61
    OK,
    Here's a pic:
    [​IMG]

    All different pics of the same unit.. hard to capture the printing on the unit.
    I say I think it's 6 Amp because "C6" is the largest printing on the front.
    The Eaton website doesn't reveal anything when I search for any number printed on it.
    Art.
     
  6. eeboy

    Active Member

    Sep 27, 2007
    90
    1
    I would suspect you are right. I would think it's a 6 Amp breaker belonging to the family of 'C' curves.

    I don't see any voltage or fault current ratings on the breaker.
     
  7. Art

    Thread Starter Distinguished Member

    Sep 10, 2007
    785
    61
    Thanks. :) There is more printing on the side.
    Do I really need to know what this means to cut power to a solar charge controlelr if something goes wrong?
    It's supposed to be a 5 Amp fuse, but I was hoping to substitute it with this, and maybe another at the AC
    output of an inverter.
    The charge controller is supposed to be able to handle 25% exceeding it's rating for five minutes.
     
  8. thingmaker3

    Retired Moderator

    May 16, 2005
    5,072
    6
  9. Art

    Thread Starter Distinguished Member

    Sep 10, 2007
    785
    61
    Ah, yes that's the one, thanks guys for the help, much appreciated. and so prompt!
    Now to crafting a dodgy DIY rail for two of them.... had one for years I never thought
    I'd use as a hobbyist, and here I am.... threw it out a couple of months ago!
     
  10. Art

    Thread Starter Distinguished Member

    Sep 10, 2007
    785
    61
    Turns out you guys (and I) were right, I think they are 6 Amp.

    I organized this industry standard DIN rail (nothing dodgy or DIY about it at all),
    and away we go :)

    [​IMG]

    and how it looks outside:

    [​IMG]

    Sexy eh? :)
    Cheers, Art.
     
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