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Choosing a High Amp Circuit Breaker

Posted by G. Christianson on Sep 18, 2013 5:16:19 AM


Hi-Amp Circuit Breakers, Panel Mount (left), Surface Mount (right) Hi-Amp Circuit Breakers, Panel Mount (left), Surface Mount (right)

High amp circuit breakers are typically used for auxiliary and accessory circuits on trucks, buses, recreational vehicles, marine, and construction equipment. Constructed with a plastic housing that is approved for engine compartment or marine bilge area applications, they are rugged and reliably provide exceptional performance. There are a few circuit breaker high amp options you have, however, when it comes to selecting the exact one for your needs.

First, you must consider whether you want a surface or panel mount. While a panel mount high amp circuit breaker is low profile, it is only available in automatic reset mode. Surface mounts may protrude a bit more but come in three styles: automatic reset mode, manual reset, and manual reset with a manual trip feature. Also, while both surface and panel mounts are available in six amp capacities ranging from 50 to 150, the automatic reset style is only rated for 30 volts, while the other two modes are rated for 48 volts. Assess your power needs carefully to make sure you choose the circuit breaker that can most effectively manage your vehicle’s power capacity.


Hi-Amp Circuit Breaker Marine Rated Hi-Amp Circuit Breaker, Surface Mount

While all of the high amp circuit breakers are waterproof, there is a separate class of marine rated high amp circuit breakers, available in surface or panel mount styles. Typically used in DC power systems, they can be used as a main on/off switch and the external ignition is protected and weatherproof. These are single pole thermal breakers and are rated for 48 volts. 5/16”-18 threaded style nuts are also included. Our marine rated high amp circuit breakers comply with SAE J1171 and American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) E-11 standards. This is a high amp breaker designed specifically with marine applications in mind, but our line of non-marine rated, but still waterproof, circuit breakers offer a wider array of options.

Our regular high amp circuit breakers are available as single pole thermal or automatic breakers. As already discussed, they are waterproof, available in panel or surface mounts, 30 or 48 volt and a variety of amp configurations. One unique feature of this line is that the manual reset and switchable style circuit breakers feature a reset mechanism for visual indication of a tripped condition. Many users find this immensely helpful, and would not part with this time-saver easily. ¼”-28 studs and surface mount style have rubber boots for insulating the ends. All models can withstand temperatures as low as -25°F (-32°C) and as high as 180°F (82°C). Depending on the model you choose, these high amp breakers comply with SAE J1171 or SAE J1625.

When it comes to high amp circuit breakers, there is a configuration for virtually every situation. If you are unsure of which amp best suits your needs or even if you are pretty certain, it is always wise to consult a professional before purchasing such an important part of your vehicle’s electrical system. That way you can install your high amp circuit breakers with confidence, knowing you have the product that provides the power management you and your vehicle need.

Topics: How To, Resources & Tools, Circuit Protection, Buying Guides


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