Frequently, we hear the following terms used interchangeably: breaker and fuse. They are similar in that are both electrical overload protection devices, but they work differently.
Like any specialized field of study, there are a lot of terms specifically used with their own definitions. Here is a small glossary of common home electrical terms – we will cross reference any other words that get used if needed. This is obviously not a comprehensive list, but this will familiarize you with some basic terminology.
These photos came from a recent service call that one of our technicians checked out. The breaker had failed to trip and the outlet literally burned up and had to be replaced.
The first thing to you need to know about a circuit breaker is that a it can trip off even though it looks like it’s in the “ON” position. The reason for this problem is a circuit breaker will at times trip off internally, that’s without the “ON/OFF” handle flipping to OFF or moving at all.