For this article I will only be discussing the Main Switch Panel that we see in our homes. Main Switch Panels in factories and multi storey building are very much different as there will be more safety features and other whatnots.
Components Of The Main Switch Panel
The Main switch panel in our homes consist of three core components. The Main Switch, The Main Circuit Breaker and the individual circuit breakers. The Main Switch and the Main Circuit Breaker will not be easily distinguished by a layman with no knowledge of electricity by just looking at it. However you won’t miss it when you have a fault. The Main Circuit Breaker will be the one that trips to the OFF position automatically.
The Main Switch
The Main Switch is the switch is the switch that controls the whole household’s electrical supply. The electrical supply from the Electrical Board will pass through this Switch first, go through the Main Circuit Breaker before being distributed to the smaller individual circuit breaker before going to the respective light switch or switch socket. The main function of the Main Switch is to facilitate the isolation of electricity to the whole house in case of emergencies like fire or flood or when there are some major maintenance work being carried out in the house.
The Main Circuit Breaker
The Main Circuit Breaker acts as a safety precaution to prevent mishaps in cases of electrical leakage in electrical appliances. It is a very sensitive gadget and any small fluctuation of electricity might trigger the Circuit Breaker to cut off electricity yo the whole house. It is a must have in all houses and care must be taken to check periodically to make sure it is in good working condition. There will always be a test button in the Circuit Breaker. Once or twice a month, use it to test if the Breaker will trip by pressing the test button. If it doesn’t it should be replaced immediately and not wait for misfortune to happen.
The Individual Circuit Breakers
Apart from the Main Circuit Breaker, there are the individual circuit breakers that distributes electricity to the individual light circuits and the individual switch sockets. This smaller circuit breakers also acts similarly as the Main one only this time it gives the user some convenience in the sense that if only one light is malfunctioning, that particular circuit will only be cut off automatically. The rest will not be affected.