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A miniature or molded - case circuit breaker is an automatically operated electrical switch designed to protect an electrical circuit from damage caused by overcurrent or overload or short circuit. Its basic function is to interrupt current flow after protective relays detect a fault. Unlike a fuse, which operates once and then must be replaced, a circuit breaker can be reset (either manually or automatically) to resume normal operation. Circuit breakers are made in varying sizes, from small devices that protect an individual household appliance up to large switchgear designed to protect high voltage circuits feeding an entire city.