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History of Circuit Breakers Part 3

History of Circuit Breakers Part 3

We last left off our exploration into the history of circuit breakers thinking about what may be next on the horizon. A little research into the topic presents us with a number of ideas, many of which are quite exciting in the development of how we consume and use electricity and power. Let’s look at a couple of ideas and developments of the last few years to get a firmer grasp on where the world of electricity and circuit breakers are headed.

 

The first exciting development we came across is being brought to us by leading power and automation technology group ABB. ABB has solved a 100-year-old problem in electrical engineering by developing the world’s first circuit breaker for high voltage direct current (HVDC). What this circuit breaker does is allow for the “interruption” of power flows, which will enable the efficient integration and exchange of renewable energy. In layman’s terms, what this invention and new circuit breaker technology will do is allow existing power systems and grids to work with emerging technologies. This creates much better usage of power and better system usage for companies as well as users.

 

Another emerging technology is being brought to market by French Multinational corporation Schneider. What Schneider has developed is a range of high-power, low-voltage circuit breakers. What these circuit breakers will aim to achieve is improved metering “saving project time and energy usage; improved mechanical and electrical performance, even in harsh environments; and the ability to monitor and control the circuit breaker with a smartphone, even in power outage.” More efficient circuit breakers work well for all involved, from the manufacturer to the distributor, to the end user.

 

Another large corporation, Siemens, has also developed a technology that looks to build on the future of circuit breaker safety technology. What Siemens has done is as follows:

Siemens has extended its range of fire protection circuit breakers with a variant for currents of up to 40 amperes (A). This unit uses special analysis software to recognize arcing faults in an electrical installation and immediately interrupts the circuit in order to prevent a cable fire. Around a third of all fires in Germany are caused by defects of this or a similar kind in electrical installations.

 

Fire protection circuit breakers offer additional safety because they also detect types of electrical arcing faults that do not blow conventional fuses. This explains why their specifications were recently incorporated into Germany’s DIN VDE 0100-420:202016-02 national standard and are now compulsory for many types of facility. Examples include public buildings, bedrooms and lounges in senior homes and daycare centers, as well as woodworking operations, wooden houses, and paper and textile plants. In the USA, arcing fault circuit interrupters have been required by law since 2008.

 

Not only are breakers becoming more efficient in the way they tie into our homes and power grids, but they are becoming safer as well; these are just a few examples of what the future holds for circuit breakers and electricity usage. We hope you enjoyed our dive into the history and future of circuit breaker and circuit breaker technology.

 

 

 

At Civic Recycling, Canada’s number one circuit breaker specialist, we provide open lines of communication at all times. If you have any questions that need to be answered we can always be reached via email at [email protected], or by phone. Should the purchasing of a new or reconditioned product require our expertise, we’re always happy to answer any questions and to assist in the process.

 

Sources:

 

http://www.abb.ca/cawp/seitp202/65df338284e41b3dc1257aae0045b7de.aspx

http://www.powerengineeringint.com/articles/2016/04/schneider-electric-launches-future-ready-circuit-breakers1.html

https://www.siemens.com/innovation/en/home/pictures-of-the-future/infrastructure-and-finance/smart-cities-protection-against-cable-fires.html

 

History of the Circuit Breaker, by Civic Recycling: Part 2

History of the Circuit Breaker, by Civic Recycling

We began Part 1 with the inception of the circuit breaker, in Thomas Edison’s shop in the 1870s. The Boston Electric Company was the first to manufacture and install a circuit breaker, about 20 years later in 1898. But these early breakers wouldn’t be familiar to you – or to your parents, or even your grandparents.

The First Miniature Circuit Breaker

The miniature circuit breaker you would recognize was born in 1924. A Swiss company called Brown, Boveri & Cie (BBC) patented the design, which was based on an earlier patent by Hugo Stotz. Stotz was an engineer who had founded an electrical society in Mannheim, Germany in 1891. He sold his company and patents to BBC, and they developed and patented the miniature circuit breaker in Germany. Stotz is credited as the inventor, and thus the grandfather of the modern, thermal-magnetic breakers in every home, office, and industrial property today.

Meanwhile, BBC stayed in business under the same name for over 60 years. In 1988, it merged with the General Swedish Electrical Limited Company (ASEA), and became ASEA Brown & Boveri (ABB). ABB still manufactures Stotz circuit breakers, and in 2014 they celebrated the 90-year anniversary of the original patent.

Dangerous Times

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From home-builders to electricians: Civic has you covered for electrical supplies

From home-builders to electricians: Civic has you covered for electrical supplies

When you need electrical supplies fast and for less, Civic Recycling has you covered. A single breaker has stopped working? Civic has you covered. Need to replace an entire service in a commercial building? Civic has you covered. Jobs big and small, simple or complex, common or obscure: Civic has you covered.

Since 1995, we’ve provided high-quality equipment to electrical contractors, wholesalers, industrial suppliers. We serve the oil, manufacturing, and agricultural industries as well as the general public. Whether you are looking for a brand new 15-amp residential circuit breaker or an obsolete 3000-amp molded case breaker, a box of teck connectors, a custom-built motor control centre, or a complete service, we’re here to help you!

We are Canada’s #1 new/used circuit breaker dealer. But circuit breakers are just the beginning!


Electrical supplies: What we sell

Circuit breakers

From 15-Amp residential breakers to 3000-Amp mains to run an entire plant. We stock new and reconditioned units from nearly every brand under the sun.

Need a European or Asian breaker? We have those, too! Even better, we ship anywhere in Canada, fast, from our massive warehouse in Calgary.

Transformers

You won’t find many shops selling transformers, and especially not at our prices. We stock single-phase and three-phase from 50VA to 750KVA. We’ve got distribution, auto, open type, epoxy potted, isolation type, control and current transformers, general purpose, indoor and outdoor. Odds are, we have what you’ve been searching for – reconditioned and ready to go.

Motor control

We have Motor Control Centres in stock from all the major manufacturers. Need a replacement bucket, doors, operators, or handles? We’ve got you covered. What’s more, we can even build you a custom MCC, from 400 amp to 3000 amp, breakered or fused. Let us know!

Combination Starters

We stock combination starters from every manufacturer around the world, plus all the replacement parts you’ll need. Your manufacturer is out of business? We can help you out. Magnetic, Manual, Contactors: we have them in stock.

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How Surplus Equipment Can Help You Predict the Future

How Surplus Equipment Can Help You Predict the Future

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by excess electrical equipment? Upgrading your operation, decluttering a shop, or converting a workspace can all leave you with equipment you don’t want or need. This can easily cause you to feel frustrated or overwhelmed. At Civic Recycling we can help you put this surplus equipment to work for your business. Instead of taking up space in a landfill or causing clutter in your operation it can be converted to positive cash flow that will have an immediate impact on your bottom line.

Civic Recycling Purchase and Testing

We are known throughout Canada for meeting a wide variety of wholesale electrical needs and for finding unique solutions to our customers’ problems. Purchasing used, unwanted, and surplus electrical equipment is just one of the many services we offer our customers. After we purchase the equipment is tested rigorously to ensure quaility.

There are several different ways to initiate the surplus purchasing process:

  • Online If you’re interested in selling unused or unwanted equipment you can fill out our online form and upload a file with equipment details. One of our customer service representatives will contact you after receiving the form to discuss the equipment, its cash value, and the next steps to complete the transaction. We’ll walk you through the entire process.
  • Via Phone  For immediate assistance you can call us at 1-888-502-4842 to discuss the equipment you’re interested in selling. We’re on hand to discuss every part of the selling process and the equipment you have available.
  • In person If you’re located in Calgary you can visit our shop in person. We can typically make you an immediate offer on your unwanted equipment. For equipment that is still in use or to evaluate a large volume of items we are available to visit your business location.

Surplus Equipment at Civic Recycling

Purchasing used, unwanted, and surplus electrical equipment is an important part of our operation at Civic Recycling.  By acquiring this equipment we are able to give it new life and keep it from having a negative environmental impact and clogging up landfills. We uniquely understand the impact that surplus equipment can have on your cash flow and business model. If you’d like to learn more about this purchasing service we invite you to reach out to one of our customer service representatives. We can answer any questions you may have about how your unwanted equipment can be put to better use.

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Alberta’s Renewable Electricity Program and Its Effect on Future Generation

REP renewable electricity program alberta solar panels windmills

In 2015 coal and natural gas accounted for 90% of all electricity generation in Alberta. These non-renewable energy sources significantly contribute to carbon emissions and aren’t generally seen as the fuels of the future. Hydro-electric, wind, biomass, solar, fuel oil, and waste heat generate the final 10% of all electricity in Alberta. These renewable sources make up a small segment of current electricity generation but that may soon be changing.

Started in early 2017,  Alberta’s Renewable Electricity Program (REP) was designed to encourage the development of renewable electricity generation and reduce overall emissions. The ultimate goal of REP is to add 5,000 megawatts of renewable electricity to the Alberta grid by 2030, increasing the amount of renewable energy to 30% of total consumption. This growth will be fueled by annual competitions for individuals and private companies in the electrical industry. Winners will be awarded the opportunity to provide up to 400 megawatts of power and will add up to 7,200 new jobs in Alberta.

At Civic Recycling we are committed to meeting a wide variety of your electrical needs. We uniquely understand the work of Alberta’s electrical professionals and strive to provide excellent customer service. Contact us today to learn more about Civic Recycling and our dedication to the electrical industry.

 

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Top 5 Electrical Safety Tips for Homeowners

Electrical Safety Tips Homeowners home safety

Electrical issues need to be addressed. Not only can homeowners receive quite a shock from overloaded circuits or worn-out insulation, but an electrical problem, such as an outdated breaker, can lead to a fire. Homeowners need to be aware of how to keep their home safe from electrical problems and keep an eye out for a range of electrical hazards. It is also important to realize when to call for professional help.

Homeowners can address a number of these issues and avoid dealing with a potential fire hazard in their home. Protect yourself and your family with the following electrical safety tips.


1. A Stubborn Breaker Should Not Be Forced

You reset the breaker. It then immediately trips. Do not attempt to reset it again. This problem could be due to one of two reasons. On one hand, the electrical load on that breaker could be too large. On the other hand, the tripping is a result of a severe electrical problem. Force that breaker again and you may be dealing with a fire in your home. Tripping of breakers are meant to protect the homeowner. Call an electrician to investigate the problem.

2. A Warm Outlet Could Be A Sign Of An Overloaded Outlet

Do not ignore a warm outlet. This does not always apply to dimmer switches which are. Do not ignore a warm outlet. This does not always apply to dimmer switches which are often warm and generally not a hazard. There can be a few reasons for a warm outlet. As a homeowner, you may be dealing with a loose electrical splice, undersized wiring or a large electrical load on a single outlet. Cut the power before checking into the issue. Keep an eye out for melted connections, burned insulation or a loose splice. In addition, evaluate the wattage of connected devices. It may be necessary to switch the device to another outlet. An electrician may be needed if the issue continues after a basic assessment is made – electrical issues can be tricky, so don’t hesitate to call on a professional in cases where you may feel unsafe.

3. An Outdated Breaker May Cause a Fire

Outdated panels and breakers can overheat wires and lead to a house fire. Homeowners need to replace old, outdated panels and circuit breakers such as Federal Pacific Electric (FPE) panels, Zinsco Panels, split-bus panels past their expected lifespan and modified fuse boxes. Modifications on fuse boxes can lead to blown fuses and compensatory changes like larger fuses can create a fire hazard. A homeowner with an outdated panel and breaker should have it professionally inspected and in the majority of instances, replaced.

4. A Wobbly Outlet or Switch Receptacle May Have Come Loose

When outlets or switches have become loose, this is generally an indication that the box is no longer properly affixed to the stud or the device was improperly mounted. Cut the power, remove the faceplate and check mounting screws. You may need to tighten
the mounting screw, shorten long screws to have them fully seat, or tighten the box’s connection to the framing. This should address the issue.

5. Do Not Use Water to Put Out an Electrical Fire

All residents in the house should know how to put out an electrical fire. Water should not be used to address an electrical fire as the fire will only help it get larger. A chemical fire extinguisher can be used on small electrical fires. If a fire has grown too large, exit the home and call the fire department once safely outside.


Keep Your Home Safe With the Right Equipment and Expertise

Not only is Civic Recycling the place for necessary electrical equipment, reconditioned breakers, tested components, and much more, the Civic Recycling team answers your questions, providing expert advice when it comes to identifying and addressing electrical malfunctions. Businesses and homeowners in and around Calgary have relied upon Civic Recycling, their supplier of new, used, and reconditioned electrical equipment since 1995.

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Circuit Breaker History from Civic Recycling: Part 1

circuit breaker history thomas edison breakers

For having a business based around a product, delving into the history of circuit breakers is not something we do very often. We thought it would be fun and informative to take a look at the circuit breaker history, where they came from, who invented them, and where they’re going. Parts of the story are incredibly interesting and there are some names that everyone will recognize from history who had a part in the creation of the modern circuit breaker.

History of Circuit Breakers

Being merely the introduction, today we’ll touch on a few of the notes that predated the modern circuit breaker and leave off with where things were headed at the onset of the 20th century. With that said, let’s jump into the earliest incarnations of the circuit breaker and why its invention was necessitated.

According to the book Edison’s Electric Light: Biography of an Invention, Thomas Edison, the vaunted inventor of the late 19th and early 20th century, had developed an early form of the circuit breaker according to a patent application from 1879. The purpose of his invention at the time was to protect lighting circuit wiring from accidental short circuits and overloads. Now, Edison’s version never quite took off to the extent he had hoped, as his invention was largely in sketches and the idea patented, without a true working product ever coming to fruition. But with these ideas out there, someone eventually picked up on the circuit breaker and brought it into a more commercial light.

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7 surprising ways breaker inspections are more refreshing than new socks

7 SURPRISING WAYS BREAKER INSPECTIONS ARE MORE REFRESHING THAN NEW SOCKS breaker testing voltage tes

Professionally Reconditioned Breakers

Peace of mind and quality service are refreshing in this day and age. With an increasing focus on speed, in communication and in service, quality can often be compromised for the sake of convenience. We feel that those two concepts don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Things can get done in a timely manner while being held to a certain standard of quality; a concept we firmly believe and actively subscribe to. With a little hard work and a commitment to our customers, we strive to do things properly AND efficiently.

Again, doing things properly is a refreshing way to do business; some might say better than a new pair of socks. We thought it best to take you through all the ways our unique testing and inspection process is extremely refreshing and why it makes us Canada’s number one circuit breaker specialist. With all of that said, here are the seven surprising ways breaker inspections are more refreshing than new socks:

Civic Recycling Certified Breakers


1. In-depth breaker Inspections

Each circuit breaker we test goes through a thorough inspection that leaves no stone unturned. When it comes to electrical equipment, no corner should be cut and that’s something we pride ourselves on. Each breaker gets the in-depth treatment that it should, whether it’s one of our own that we’re selling or one a customer has brought in.

2. Certified breaker inspections and Testing

Each of our breakers, when tested, meet or exceed the standards set out by PEARL, NEMA, NETA, IEEE, and those laid out by the manufacturer. We don’t cut corners, as these specifics suggest. We want to keep our customers coming back, as well as attract new ones, and we believe the best way to do this is by offering quality service that we stand behind.

3. We Sell and Reconditioned

Since we’re merely not taking in others breakers and reconditioning them, we sell our own reconditioned breakers as well, we have to adhere to certain standards of quality. This also means we know the products inside and out. You don’t get to number one in the country without having an in-depth and complete knowledge of the products you’re dealing with.

4. Written Test Results

With every breaker we test and recondition comes a unique tracking number. This number corresponds to a written report that details the test results. This acts as a sort of insurance for the breaker you’re purchasing and offers peace of to you, your business, and your potential customers. It shows that we stand behind our work and have no issues letting you know what went into the breaker you purchased; complete transparency.

5. Testing as a Service

Not only do we recondition and sell our breakers, but we’re happy to take in and test any breaker that is brought in to us. It’s part of the service we provide and part of our greater goal, which is to ensure all breakers out there are safe for use. If you ever need some questions answered, don’t hesitate to bring in a breaker for our inspection.

6. Civic 36-point Visual Inspection

Part of the testing service we provide is a complete 36-point visual inspection of the interior and exterior of every breaker we take in after a thorough cleaning of the product. This ensures we take care of any issues with the breaker before the actual testing begins. It may seem like a large undertaking, but it pays dividends in the long wrong and allows us to guarantee all of our products.

7. 100% One Year Guarantee

We guarantee every breaker, new or reconditioned, 100% for a year after we sell it. The guarantee is not something we take lightly, but it’s obviously a testament to how much we believe in all of the products we sell. It’s a simple and straightforward statement and something we really believe in. We love breaker inspections!


Reconditioned Circuit Breakers from Civic Recycling

As always, we provide open lines of communication as well. If any questions need to be answered we can always be reached via email at [email protected], or by phone. Should the purchasing of a new or reconditioned product require our expertise, we’re always happy to answer any questions and to assist in the process.

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Shop online for circuit breakers and your equipment ships free!

Shop online for electrical equipment canada electrical breakers online civic online store

If there’s something we can all agree on, it’s that free things are good. Not the type of “free” things that come with caveats, but things that are truly free. That’s why we like to offer free shipping for any orders over $500 to anywhere in Canada. Shop Online with us to save time and money.

Sometimes it can be difficult to find what you need in store. This means that one must default to shopping online. Many people don’t like shopping online, due to the incessant advertising as well as the overwhelming number of options. We, however, like to think that we have found ways to combat these issues on our own site by offering unique ways to expedite the process and save money.

Outstanding Stock AND Online?

As with any shopping experience, be it online or at a brick and mortar, we believe that simplicity and ease of access to products are the keys to success. On our site, there are a lot of options for which product to purchase, but that doesn’t mean it’s overwhelming. When searching for a product there are a number of different parameters that can be set to narrow a search. This includes being able to narrow down a search by volts, amps, poles, and manufacturer. Having this ability takes out the needle in a haystack element to online shopping, and simplifies the process.

Shop Online for Reconditioned Equipment

What our online shopping experience also features is a “my account” function, allowing products and previous purchases to be saved and revisited. When searching for products, they can be “favourited” and revisited upon the next visit to the account. Once a product has been “favourited,” it will be automatically saved on the site and can be seen again from any computer. It makes choosing products much easier and streamlines the process for the next times a purchase needs to be made. With a lot of product options on the site, it’s nice to have the peace of mind knowing that past purchases can be referenced. This will go a long way in saving time for subsequent purchases and guiding future decisions.

Free Shipping from Civic Recycling

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How reconditioned breakers can help you live a better life

reconditioned breakers circuit breaker ITE push to trip CR civic

We spend a lot of time talking about the time and effort we take into reconditioning our circuit breakers, why this is important, and what separates us from other companies doing the same thing. This has been discussed at length, and rightfully so; it’s important to know what goes into a product that has been previously used and how reliable it can be. With that said, something we don’t discuss as often is some of the other tangible and intangible benefits that come along with purchasing a reconditioned product from a company like ours. Some of these things seem obvious, some less so.

We thought today, we’d take the opportunity to discuss these benefits and why they should mean something to you. Again, some of these benefits will strike you as quite obvious, but we also thought this to be a fine opportunity to explain why some of these benefits are unique to our company. Circuit breakers may seem like a simple tool, but there is a lot that goes into them and there is a lot to think about when purchasing them. So, with that in mind let’s discuss four major benefits to buying reconditioned breakers, and why they will only serve to help you live a better life.

Electrical Breakers (and peace of mind):

Something that we take pride in, as has been discussed here before, is the amount of work and rigorous testing we put into our reconditioned breakers. What this testing process produces, aside from a reliable product, is peace of mind for the person who is purchasing the breakers. There’s an inherent skepticism that comes along with used products, often times rightfully so, but with our process being as thorough and transparent as it is, there’s no reason to doubt anything ever purchased. Peace of mind, especially in regards to electrical equipment, goes a long way and allows you to purchase great products at a reduced rate without having to doubt their veracity.

Used Electrical Supplies (they’re green):

Another benefit to buying reconditioned products is their effect on the environment. Reconditioning products versus manufacturing new ones is always going to have a net benefit on the environment. Not only that, but when breakers are reconditioned and tested, older pieces are often replaced by newer, state of the art ones. What this does is allow the breaker to become much more efficient. It’s a pretty simple and beneficial concept, something that is certainly worth considering.

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