Mini Circuit Breaker operates just like the normal circuit breaker but its larger counterparts take up half the space of a service panel. This allows you to have 2 breakers at the same time in a space that is normally occupied by one. This makes it very useful in different situations when you are adding new circuit to your fully occupied panel but don’t want to have a new subpanel installed. Miniature circuit breakers are approved and perfectly safe for use according to the national Electrical Code, but adding numerous new circuits without having a new subpanel installed can really be dangerous. Use a Mini Circuit Breaker only in situations that will not make the panel overload.
Replacing and Removing of a Full-Sized Circuit Breaker
- Turn the power off at your main breaker. To remove the cover of the panel, unscrew the screws that are holding it in its place. Ensure that you have a flashlight near you as you cut off your entire power at home.
- Remove the full-sized circuit breaker by holding the switch and gently pulling it out. You’ll hear the breaker unclip from its hot bar bus without putting so much effort.
- Detach the black wire from its screw terminal on the back of breaker through the use of a screwdriver. If you have an internal-terminal type breaker, you have to clip the wire in order to detach the circuit breaker.
- Connect the black wire to the terminal of mini circuit breaker and hold it through a switch portion. Snap your mini breaker into the vacated slot of full-sized circuit breaker. In this way, the existing circuit breaker will be replaced.
Adding a New Circuit
- Make an access hole on service panel by using a screw and hammer in order to allow the cable for a new circuit.
- Put a metal-electrical connector in access hole with an inside locknut and outside screw clamps.
- Through the connector, run the cable wire while leaving enough wire length in order to reach the mini circuit breaker’s hot bus bars.
- Connect the black wire to the mini circuit breaker and make it snap into its place as what is mentioned above.
- Attach the white wire on the neutral terminal bus bar. Also connect the ground-wire to the bus bar ground if it is present, or just leave it as a vacant terminal if there’s no bus ground on the bas bar neutral.
- Tighten screw the lock nut on the connector by using the pliers and clamp the cable around by a screwdriver.
- Replace the cover of the panel and restore its panel.
Through a mini circuit breaker, the entire faulting condition of your electrical panel can easily be detected. Once a fault is detected, the contacts in the breaker will open in order to interrupt the current flow in the circuit. Some of the miniature circuit breakers are manually operated, so be careful on choosing one that fits your needs and electrical requirements.