kAIC

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Old 06-17-07, 02:28 PM
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kAIC

So I was shopping for breakers and went to Cutler Hammer's site and got the list of breakers they have so I could find their part numbers. In this PDF I am looking at a 30A, 2 pole breaker and I see that it comes in 10 kAIC and 22 kAIC.

I know what AIC stands for, thanks to the internet, but I don't know what it means in terms of what breaker I should get. Could someone please explain to me what the benefit of one is over the other?

Thanks.
 
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Old 06-17-07, 02:59 PM
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do you have a main breaker?

if you have a main breaker upstream and the 30 amp new breaker is a branch breaker, then the 10k rating on the BRANCH breaker is sufficient.
If your panel is "parallel" with several breakers (up to 6) WITHOUT a main, then go with 22k.
 
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Old 06-17-07, 03:03 PM
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For that do not know, AIC means Amperes Interrupting Capacity and the leading k means the number is in the thousands.

A 10kAIC circuit breaker has the ability to break a circuit in which 10,000 amperes (a "bolted" short circuit) is flowing while limiting the damage outside the specific circuit.

The AIC rating required is dependent upon the size of the transformer and the size and length of the cables between the transformer and the circuit breaker. (It is really a bit more complicated than that but this is the short story)

Most (almost all) residential services require no more than 10kAIC breakers. The 30kAIC breaker in this instance would be overkill with a higher cost and no benefit.
 
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Old 06-17-07, 03:59 PM
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if you have a main breaker upstream and the 30 amp new breaker is a branch breaker, then the 10k rating on the BRANCH breaker is sufficient.
If your panel is "parallel" with several breakers (up to 6) WITHOUT a main, then go with 22k.
the 30A breaker I want to use will be part of a 60A sub panel that I will install. the 60A sub panel will branch off the main 200A panel.
 
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Old 06-17-07, 10:32 PM
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Assuming that you have a "normal" residential service and your existing service panel is rated at no more than 10kAIR you may use the 10kAIR circuit breaker without any reservations.

It is extremely unlikely that you have a greater than 10,000 ampere "bolted short circuit availability" at your panel. If you are really concerned then all it will require is a call to your utility's engineering division and asking.
 
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