Q:

What is the definition of an AIC rating?

A:

Quick Answer

AIC is an abbreviation for Amps Interrupting Capacity, also known as Amps Interrupting Rating, which is the maximum number of surge amps that can be served to the equipment and still safely trip off when the amperage gets too high. It can be found on panelboards, also called distribution boards or breaker panels, and panel circuit breakers.

Continue Reading

Full Answer

The AIC is typically 10kA, meaning 10,000 amps, or 20kA, but can be as little as 5kA, with the higher ratings costing more. This amount is in addition to the sustained current rating, which could be 200 or 1,200 amps, and it is a safety rating separate to the nominal load rating of the panel. The National Fire Protection Association's National Electric Code states that equipment must be rated equal to or higher than the available surge current and any amount below this can become a safety hazard.

In the U.S., panel boards are usually placed in two columns and live electrical parts are hidden for safety reasons. They are often placed in closets, the attic, basements or garages because of their aesthetics and also for security reasons. External installation requires specialized equipment and stricter installation practices to keep them safe. Larger buildings, such as schools, hospitals and entertainment venues, will have multiple different panel boards dedicated to each area or for each building.

Learn more about Electrical

Related Questions

  • Q:

    How can you tell the difference between 60-amp and 200-amp electric panel boxes?

    A:

    According to Home Depot, the easiest way to determine the amperage of an electrical panel box is to look at the amp rating of the main breaker. The two are generally the same. However, if there are doubts, owners should look for other clues as to the amount of power supplied to the home.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How do you wire a 50 amperage outlet?

    A:

    To wire a 50 amperage outlet, begin by installing a junction box alongside an existing wall stud. Run 3-strand 50 amp wires from the circuit breaker in the home to the place chosen to locate the outlet. Once the wires are in place, strip off the insulating sleeve from the last quarter-inch to expose the three wires.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is a Square D shunt trip breaker?

    A:

    A Square D shunt trip breaker is a type of circuit breaker with a built-in indicator and remote tripping mechanism. The indicator is a clear plastic window that shows a black line when the circuit is in good condition and a red line when the circuit is broken.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What causes a GFCI-protected circuit to trip?

    A:

    A GFCI-protected circuit may trip due to water, conductive dust, worn-out insulation and soft grounds. As per the electrical code, ground fault circuit interrupters are often installed in outlets where there is exposure to water, such as bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, garages and outdoor receptacles.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore