Information About Earth Leakage Circuit Breaker (ELCB)

This article describes about the Earth Leakage Circuit Breaker ELCB appliances.

Earth Leakage Circuit Breaker (ELCB)

Faulty wiring, poorly insulated appliance or its improper use may cause current to flow through the wrong path (i.e. appliance body / casing) to the earth. This ‘Leakage Current' and associated risk can be prevented with the help of ELCB.

• ELCB installation is mandatory for all 3 phase loads and loads above 5 kW. It is recommended for

1. All residential premises as “main incoming" after Energy Meter.
2. All domestic appliances where there is proximity of moisture/ conductive liquids i.e. Water Heater, Washing Machines, Pump Sets etc.

• A fault current as low as 4 to 6 milli amperes activates the ELCB and interrupts the power circuit

within 30 milli seconds. ELCB operates even in case of neutral failure.

1. It is recommended to test ELCB once a month with the help of a Test Push-button available on the unit itself. While the electricity is on (i.e. not during power-cut or with the mains off), gently push the Test push-button on ELCB. If it trips (i.e. the ON/OFF switch will snap and drop to the
lower position. You can see the OFF label/symbol), then the ELCB is working properly.

2. In case of ELCB tripping, call a certified electrician to locate the fault and eliminate the same.

3. ELCB can be reset on elimination of fault and set on again, therby not requiring any replacement.

Protection Of Circuit
In the most typical electrical fault termed as short circuit, the supply phase and neutral or earth gets short circuited accidentally due to foreign metallic substance coming in contact with phase and neutral or earth or due to overload, thereby resulting in a heavy current flow called as a "short circuit current". This high current may generate sparking and lead to fire.

• Install Miniature Circuit Breaker (MCB) to restrict the short circuit current and to isolate the faulty circuit from electric supply.

Miniature Circuit Breaker (MCB)
MCB is a combination of switch and fuse with specified level of fault
clearing capacity. It can be used to protect individual circuit / installation. Like ELCB, it can be reset on elimination of fault and set on again.

Difference between MCB and ELCB
MCB provides protection against overload and/or short-circuit current. Installation of MCB is, moreover, to protect an electrical appliance and wiring system itself. On the other hand, instllation of ELCB offers personnel Protection against leakage current and associated risk of an electric shock.

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