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There are many types of circuit breakers. Regardless of their configuration, they are all designed to keep the circuit open while conditions are optimal and to break the circuit if conditions warrant it because of overloads, surges and other electrical problems. Your ITE breaker for in-home use may come with one of three designs used to break the circuit when an overload is detected.
One type is the magnetic breaker. Magnetic circuit breakers contain an electromagnet which is designed to increase its magnetism as the electrical load increases. If there is too much of an increase, the magnet automatically switches the circuit breaker off. Another type of ITE circuit breaker uses heat to detect an overload or surge. When the heat becomes too much, the breaker switches off. The third type of circuit breaker uses a combination of heat and magnetism to protect the electrical system.