MCB (Miniature Circuit Breaker) is a distribution box that is fixed or provided in every apartments in modern societies. Instead of MCB box, a 32 Ampere DP switch was fixed that had an on-off switch. MCB box concept didn’t exist as they were not aware of such a thing as MCB.

Let’s understand how MCB connection given.

In every society there’s a Meter Room. This meter room has boxes/ switches that supplies electricity to every apartment in the building individually. The current passes through wires and cables from the meter room to the MCB box that is fixed in every apartment. The wires/ cables that run from meter room to each apartment is always concealed wiring. The electric connection/distribution for each rooms in an apartment is done from the MCB.

How does MCB work?

MCB are miniature circuit breakers that break/trip when excess current passes through the meter room to the MCB. Let’s say there’s some circuit problem like sort circuit, the current gets tripped in the MCB only without damaging the electric components in an apartment.

Where is MCB installed/ fixed?

MCB is generally installed in the passage of every apartment. The connections/wiring done from this box to every room is also usually concealed in modern homes. But the main connections given to MCB board are kind a messy. There are few reasons for MCB being installed in passage area and not living room like-

  • The look of distribution box for electric line through that box is not good/messy.
  • The look and feel of the interior can be maintained in living room. I mean no home-owner

would like to have a big box seen hanging in living room with so many switches.

What are Panels? What is the difference between Panels and MCB?

MCB and Panels are similar concepts. The main difference between them are MCB (the distribution box) are installed for residential purposes & panels are installed for commercial purposes. Panels are mainly installed in areas where heavy load/ high current is needed like offices, hotels, industries, etc. Another difference is that for connections to MCB in apartments, concealed wiring is done, whereas for panels, cables used to connect which usually tied.

MCB & Current

In MCB (the distribution box), there are different categories that starts from 6A to 32A. 6A is usually not used for either of them- residential & commercial purposes. For residential purpose, 10A is good enough for lights & fan. For geysers, etc. equipment’s 20A to 25A connection is given. Usually for AC’s 16A to 20A wire is used.

32A is usually not used for residential purpose. There are a few electricians who provide with 32 A wiring assuming that 6A & 32A wire cost the same. Resulting in 32A wire/connection is given for lights, fans, etc., which is not needed. Here what will happen is if there’ high current being supplied i.e. more than required for an appliance.

Here the MCB will not trip/ break the circuit, which is its main function and the appliance may get damaged or may catch fire especially. Thus while wiring is being done, do take care of these small things for your safety. As we saw earlier MCB break the circuit if excess current passes. Wiring and MCB are installed for safety purposes and not for undue excess supply. Therefore suitable MCB box, wires & connections shall be installed or else it will make no sense having MCB box.