Protection Type Reference Chart

Here is a protection type reference chart guide. Find protection type, breaker type, and their description. Check what you need for your job and/or project.

Protection Type Chart

Protection TypeBreaker TypeDescription
Thermal-MagneticCommon BreakerA standard thermal-magnetic breaker protects a circuit from an overcurrent failure. Overcurrent failures can occur when the total amp draw of all devices currently running on a circuit is more than the circuit can safely supply.
Thermal-Magnetic + Ground FaultGround Fault Interrupter (GFI) / Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI)A ground fault circuit interrupter adds protection against ground faults to overcurrent protection. In order to safely control the flow of electricity the path to ground needs to be predictable. A GFCI breaker detects when the path becomes unpredictable by a variance of 5mA or greater.
Thermal-Magnetic + Combination Arc FaultCombination Arc Fault Interrupter (CAFI)A combination arc fault interrupter adds protection against parallel and series arc faults to overcurrent protection. Arc faults occur when the hot lead of a circuit either arcs to another hot lead (parallel) or arcs across an air gap in the same lead (series).
Thermal-Magnetic + Ground Fault + Combination Arc FaultDual-Function (DF)A dual function breaker combines overcurrent, ground fault and combination arc fault protection in one device.

Other Designations Found on Circuit Breakers

Protection TypeBreaker TypeDescription
Switching DutySwitching Duty Rated (SWD)Switching Duty Rated breakers designed to be used to regularly switch a circuit on/off. Only single pole, 277VAC or below, 20A or 15A breaker can be designated as switching duty rated. These breakers are most commonly used in lighting circuits.
Heating, Air-conditioning, RefrigerationHACR ListedHACR listed breakers are confirmed by an independent testing laboratory to be suitable for HACR applications. Even though these breakers are HACR listed this is usually not their most common application. HACR listed breakers are not prohibited from other applications.

Electrician - Protection Type Reference Chart

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