Ask restaurateurs which electrical protectors they prefer for their kitchen equipment and chances are they won’t have a preference or know there are different options in the first place. But when asked if they would prefer less downtime for their dishwashers or coolers, operators are likely to have an impassioned response, especially when they know the road to that outcome involves laying down a key question to their equipment supplies: do they still use fuses, or have they moved to the more modern and reliable devices known as miniature circuit breakers (MCBs)?
Operators may not know the differences between the two, but they will easily appreciate the inconvenience of fuses if their ice maker or walk-in closet fails. With MCBs, all it takes is the flip of a toggle switch to bring the equipment back online. With a fuse, it’s a whole different matter.
For operators who want to make the switch, this may mean convincing their equipment vendors to do so as well. And the best way to do that is to be able to pass on the benefits of doing it.
By design, circuit breakers are safer than fuses. A blown fuse can be mistakenly replaced with a new one in the bad size. If replaced with a larger size, the equipment may present a fire hazard. If a circuit breaker trips regularly, a service person will need to be called and the problem investigated. Moreover, how do the operators know for sure that the problem is that the fuse has blown? Many fuses do not have a blown fuse indicator, so technicians or operators will need to remove them and test them with an ohmmeter, or use a voltmeter to see if voltage is passing through the fuse. Some fuse holders are not fingerproof, so the employee performing the diagnosis may touch a live wire. Many industrial users require anyone working on fuse panels to wear an arc flash suit, which means a dedicated maintenance crew is needed to fix even minor electrical issues, such as a blown fuse.
Degradation testing and cost savings
Although fuses and circuit breakers degrade with age, only circuit breakers can be tested. The only option for fuses is to replace them at regular intervals before they blow – which any owner can confirm doesn’t always happen in time, so the same can be said for fuses used to supply power. electricity to restaurant equipment. By being able to verify the effectiveness of circuit breakers, restaurants can save money by not having to arbitrarily replace fuses. Restaurants can also stop worrying about downtime due to blown fuses. When calculating the time lost to replace fuses in the event of a short circuit, plus the cost of replacement and the longer diagnostic time to find the problem, all of these factors add up quickly. By switching to circuit breakers, manufacturers and operators no longer have to worry about those long downtimes or diagnosing unpredictable problems.
NOARK’s MCBs are designed for use in the manufacture of catering equipment. While much equipment is still built for use with fuses, the change means that manufacturers can offer their restaurant customers additional equipment reliability. To learn more about switching to NOARK Miniature Circuit Breakers and DP Contractors and learn more about the benefits of doing so, visit na.noark-electric.com.
This post is sponsored by NOARK