What is the difference between MCB, MCCB, ELCB & RCCB?

What is the difference between MCB, MCCB, ELCB & RCCB

What is the difference between MCB, MCCB, ELCB & RCCB?

What is the difference between MCB, MCCB, ELCB & RCCB?
Homeowners who are also décor enthusiasts are often seen struggling to hide the unsightly electrical box installed at the entrance. In general terms, the box is referred to as the MCB box. Most of us don’t know the exact application of it, but in layman’s language, the box is used for some kind of circuit protection and electricity distribution. The definition and usage are pretty confusing for common many and its varied options make the task of choosing the right one even more difficult.

There are different types of electrical boxes installed at properties depending on the size and the application. If you are clueless about the types of MCB and searching for the most suitable choice for your property, then keep on reading. In today’s post, we will discuss a variety of MCB electrical products that are commonly used and what are the difference between all these options.

What is the difference between MCB and MCCB?
MCB is the acronym for Miniature Circuit Break and MCCB stands for Molded Case Circuit Breaker. MCB is an electromagnetic appliance that is used in homes for protection against short circuits and electrical overload. In case of a short circuit, MCB turns offs automatically. On the other hand, MCCB is also used for circuit protection and overloads.

The basic MCB and MCCB difference is that the rated current for MCB is just 125 Ampere, whereas MCCB can be used for rated current up to 1600 Ampere. This makes it obvious that MCB is suitable for domestic applications, whereas MCCB is a more suitable device for circuit protection in industrial applications. MCB trips are not adjustable and it automatically shuts during low breaking capacities, on the other hand, MCCB trip current can be adjusted for both high and low breaking capacities.

What is the difference between ELCB and RCCB?
RCCB is the acronym for Residual Current Circuit Breaker and ELCB is also a circuit breaker and stands for Earth Leakage Circuit Breaker. RCCB is a very useful device to prevent electric shock. The hi-tech device is designed to detect and trip in case of electrical current leakage of 30,100 & 300mA. It is considered best to install RCCB with an MCB at residential properties to protect the residents from any event of electric shock due to leakage of current in domestic appliances.
ELCB is also used for leakage detection, although it is not as advanced as RCCB and can only detect current leakage when it flows back through the earthing wire. RCCB is considered advanced and offers 100% protection against electric leakage, whereas ELCB is a relatively older technology and hence not as reliable as RCCB. Although RCCB is considered safer for the detection of electrical leakage, it is only useful in normal waveform supply and might not work efficiently in case of non-standard waveforms occurring by a network of electrical overload.

What is the difference between MCB and ELCB?
ELCB is a voltage operated device that is used for the detection of current leakage. On the other hand, MCB is commonly used at residential properties to sense abnormal conditions like short circuits and overload. ELCB is an older technology so people mostly choose MCB with a combination of an RCCB device for adequate circuit breaker installation. Relying on RCCB only is also not suitable as RCCB devices are very sensitive to electrical loads and a small change can make them trip. To deal with the nuisance tripping, using a high quality MCB is useful.

MCB selection guide
Although MCBs are useful but the rated current is not more than 100A for these devices. If you need higher capacity protection, MCCBs are the right choice as the rated current capacity is 1000 A. An expert can guide you with the selection process, although the basic steps are discussed below:

  • Calculate the total current and always pick a device with a higher current rating than your total calculated current capacity.
  • Tripping of an MCB is defined as B curve, C Curve, D Curve and K Curve. These curves basically define the relationship between the current vs tripping time. B curve is suitable for cables and ideal for protecting fault loops in heaters and domestic appliances. C, D and K curves are useful for respectively medium to higher loads such as motors, outlets, and transformers.
  • The lifespan of an MCB should be considered when making a selection. The life is calculated by the number of times the device turns on and off. A suitable MCB device is one that is at least 20000 lifetimes.

Bottom line
In this topic, we discussed the key devices that are used for circuit protection and current leakage detection. All these devices are lifesavers and must be selected carefully. In order to pick the most suited option for your property, make sure to discuss the key requirements with an expert.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) :

Q1. What is the purpose of an ELCB in an electrical system?
ELCB, or Earth Leakage Circuit Breaker, is designed to protect against electric shocks by disconnecting the power when it detects a leakage current to earth.

Q2. How does an RCCB differ from an ELCB?
RCCB stands for Residual Current Circuit Breaker. While both RCCB and ELCB offer protection against electric shocks, RCCBs are more advanced and can detect imbalances in both live and neutral currents.

Q3. RCCB stands for Residual Current Circuit Breaker. While both RCCB and ELCB offer protection against electric shocks, RCCBs are more advanced and can detect imbalances in both live and neutral currents.
MCBs are generally suitable for residential and light commercial applications. For industrial settings with higher current requirements, MCCBs are more appropriate.

Q4. Can MCCBs be used in residential applications?
While MCCBs are designed for higher current applications typical in industrial settings, they can be used in residential applications with larger power requirements.

Q5.Do ELCBs and RCCBs protect against overcurrents and short circuits?
ELCBs primarily protect against electric shocks due to earth leakage, while RCCBs offer additional protection against overcurrents and short circuits.

Q6. Are there specific installation requirements for these circuit breakers?
Yes, each type of circuit breaker has specific installation requirements outlined by manufacturers and electrical codes. It’s crucial to follow these guidelines to ensure proper functionality and safety.