ELCB, shortly acronym for for Earth Leakage Circuit Breaker is one of the important electrical safety devices that is used for prevention and protection against any impending electrical shocks and hazards. Its major role is to detect and interrupt any potential fault in the electrical system and immediately cut off the power supply for protection and prevention. It has been a major use and is installed in electrical installations for its relative safety and protection benefits.
ELCB comes with many advantages and hence its wide array of usage across. However, there are a few downsides to it too and we here look to discuss both of them down below for you. Read along.
Advantages of ELCB
1. Electrical Safety
ELCBs are installed as a means for ensuring electrical safety. Their primary role is to quickly detect any impending leakages occurring due to faulty wiring, electrical faults, or even damaged appliances. The way ELCB works is to disconnect the power supply and help stop the flow of the current. This in turn reduces the chances of electrical shocks and any potential hazards that may happen. Furthermore, the use of ELCB has significantly reduced the number of fatal accidents by a large number over the years.
2. Protection from Fire Hazards
ELCBs are known for their electrical safety means as we discussed above by stopping the flow of the current in cases of any leakages. But what if there is an electric short circuit of excessive leakage of current, how would the safety factor work out? Thankfully, ELCB helps out in this manner too by detecting any such abnormal flow of the current or short circuit and simply switching off the power supply. This helps minimize the risk of overheating and further fire accidents or hazards that can hamper the lives and the property.
3. Protect Electrical Equipment and Appliance
Whenever any electrical uprising or short circuit happens, the electrical appliances often get damaged and lots of additional expenses get added up in repairing and maintaining it. Also, electrical hazards lessen the life cycle of the appliance. That is why fuses are often embedded in the machines to help break the circuit. ELCBs on the other hand, directly interrupt the power supply from the source and stop any current flowing to the devices so that no impending short circuit or mishaps can reach the device. This way, the device and the equipment remain safe and have a normal life cycle of usage.
4. Efficient and Versatile
ELCBs come in various types and configurations basis the need. This means that they can be installed in all kinds of settings from residential to commercial to industrial ones without any fuss. This has made it a great pick in terms of a safety mechanism. ELCBs are compatible with both the single-phase and the three-phase electrical systems used widely across various environments which make them suitable to use in any kind of structure. This versatile nature and its offering of efficient performance have made ELCBs a mandatory part of the electrical setup at present.
ELCBs are priced quite reasonably well and don’t cost a lot. This makes it a great choice as it helps in electrical safety whilst also being on the economical side. This has made the integration of ELCBs mandatory in the house and industrial setup without going overboard on the budget aspect.
Disadvantages of ELCB
1. Affected by Sensitive Factors
ELCBs often can trip off and give false shutdowns because of sensitive factors like lighting strikes, electromagnetic interference, or even power fluctuations. These are known as false trippings and they can cause interruption in the power supply and create inconvenience for people involved. That can be a major downside in crucial and critical processes area and even for daily activities.
2. Lack of segregation
ELCBs do not segregate between the faulty circuit and the specific appliance that is causing the leakage. This means that whenever there’s a power tripping, the ELCB trips, and the entire power supply to the circuit is cut affecting all the connected devices to the circuit. Since there’s no segregation, all the equipment will lose the connection and you’ll have to go through the hassle of not being able to use a machine until the ELCB is fixed. Identifying and only stopping the leakage from the exact source is something that is still not possible with ELCBs.
3. Regular Maintenance
ELCBs require regular maintenance and testing to make sure they are working properly. That is a hassle in itself as ELCBs need a lot of time checks to make sure that they are responsive to the sensitivity of any electrical leakages. This regular maintenance and testing requires the assistance of a qualified electrician which means additional cost of maintenance.
4. Limited Scope
ELCBs are known to protect against any electrical leakage current to the earth. They cannot offer protection for cases when electrical faults or short circuits are due to the overload within the circuit itself. This is why ELCBs are often paired in conjunction with other circuit breakers like MCBs and more. That allows us to have a safeguard against all kinds of electrical leakage and short circuits.
ELCBs are a major part of the electrical safety mechanism for home and industrial usage as they help in detecting and isolating the leakage current breaking the flow to help prevent any impending electrical shocks, fire hazards, and other damages. The use of ELCBs also helps in improving electrical safety, and appliance protection and also safeguards for any casualty. There are various advantages of ELCBs as discussed aforementioned alongside a few drawbacks too. We hope this helped clear the view on ELCBs.