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The Physics of Broken Things

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BrandyBoy72

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"Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong" Murphy's Law seemed to hold true recently, at least in the Bansbach household. This weekend certain appliances seemed to be shutting off randomly, and under further investigation my dad found out that we blew a circuit breaker. Not only had it stopped working, but it got so hot from the resistance that it started to melt. SO, a circuit breaker is meant to shut off your power if the system is overloaded. Your power is shut off when the excess current and the resultant heat from the resistance deforms two pieces of metal in the breaker which start to "pull the trigger", when bent enough the trigger snaps two contact points apart, breaking the circuit (imagine that). So the overload from too many appliances being on would have tripped the breaker, but there was a faulty ground wire, so the high current had no where to be grounded to so the plastic started to mel

 

P.S. something also went wrong with my mom's car's engine, it was stalling so we had to take it in to get fixed, and now we have a loaner car. So if you see me scootin' around in a big black chevy silverado, that's why.

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On the bright side, replacing circuit breakers is fairly straightforward.  Car engines, now... that's another story.  Good luck!

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