how to wire a shunt trip circuit breaker



Shunt trip circuit breakers are electrical devices that play a crucial role in ensuring the safety of electrical systems. They are designed to trip or open the circuit in response to specific conditions, such as a fault or emergency situation. Wiring a shunt trip circuit breaker correctly is paramount to guarantee its proper functioning and effectiveness. In this article, we will guide you through the process of wiring a shunt trip circuit breaker, providing you with detailed instructions and essential tips to ensure a safe and efficient installation.

Understanding Shunt Trip Circuit Breakers

A shunt trip circuit breaker is a type of circuit breaker that includes an additional electromagnetic coil and a control switch. This additional coil is responsible for tripping the circuit breaker when it receives a signal from the control switch. Shunt trip circuit breakers are commonly used in commercial and industrial applications where there is a need for remote control or emergency shut-off capabilities.

The shunt trip feature allows operators to trip the circuit breaker from a remote location or automatically in response to specific conditions. For example, in the event of a fire or other emergency, a shunt trip circuit breaker can be programmed to trip automatically, cutting off the power supply to prevent further damage.

Benefits of Shunt Trip Circuit Breakers

Shunt trip circuit breakers offer several benefits, making them a popular choice in various industries. Here are some of the key advantages:

1. Enhanced Safety: Shunt trip circuit breakers provide an extra layer of safety by allowing circuit interruption from a remote location or automatically during emergencies. This helps in the prevention of hazards and electrical accidents.

2. Convenience: With a shunt trip circuit breaker, operators can trip the breaker remotely, eliminating the need to physically access the electrical panel. This feature is particularly useful in large facilities and hard-to-reach areas.

3. Flexibility: Shunt trip circuit breakers can be easily integrated into existing electrical systems, enabling control from different locations or devices. This flexibility is crucial in situations where quick actions are required.

4. Versatility: Shunt trip circuit breakers are available in various sizes and configurations to suit different electrical systems and applications. They can be used in both residential and commercial settings, offering the necessary protection and control capabilities.

Wiring a Shunt Trip Circuit Breaker

Now that we have a good understanding of shunt trip circuit breakers and their benefits, let's delve into the process of wiring them correctly. Wiring a shunt trip circuit breaker involves several steps, which we will outline below.

1. Ensure Safety Precautions

Safety should always be the top priority when working with electrical systems. Before starting the wiring process, make sure to switch off the power supply to the circuit you are working on. This can be done by turning off the main breaker or isolating the specific circuit breaker associated with the shunt trip breaker. Additionally, it is recommended to use proper personal protective equipment, such as insulated gloves and goggles.

2. Gather the Required Tools and Materials

Before beginning the wiring process, gather all the necessary tools and materials. This may include a screwdriver or a nut driver, wire strippers, wire connectors, electrical tapes, and the shunt trip circuit breaker itself. Ensure that you have the correct size and type of circuit breaker specified for your electrical system.

3. Identify the Wiring Requirements

To wire the shunt trip circuit breaker correctly, it is essential to understand the specific wiring requirements for your electrical system. Refer to the circuit breaker's installation manual or consult a professional electrician if needed. Determine the voltage and current ratings, as well as the wiring diagram for the shunt trip circuit breaker.

4. Connect the Control Switch

The control switch is the device used to signal the shunt trip circuit breaker to trip or open the circuit. It can be a push button, toggle switch, or any other appropriate device. Follow the manufacturer's instructions to properly connect the control switch to the shunt trip circuit breaker. This typically involves connecting the control switch's terminals to the designated terminals on the circuit breaker.

5. Connect the Shunt Coil

The shunt coil is the electromagnetic coil that receives the signal from the control switch and trips the circuit breaker. Connect one side of the shunt coil to the control switch, ensuring the proper polarity, and connect the other side to the circuit breaker's designated terminals. Use appropriate wire connectors to ensure secure connections.

Once the shunt trip circuit breaker is properly wired, double-check all the connections and ensure they are tight and secure. Make sure there are no loose or exposed wires that could pose a safety hazard. After confirming everything is in order, it is safe to switch on the power supply and test the shunt trip circuit breaker's functionality.


Wiring a shunt trip circuit breaker correctly is crucial to ensure its proper functioning and effectiveness in interrupting the circuit when needed. Following the steps outlined in this article, you can safely and efficiently wire a shunt trip circuit breaker in your electrical system. Remember to prioritize safety throughout the process and consult professionals or the manufacturer's instructions if you encounter any difficulties.

Shunt trip circuit breakers offer enhanced safety, convenience, flexibility, and versatility in various applications. By incorporating shunt trip circuit breakers into electrical systems, operators can effectively control and protect their installations, providing peace of mind and reducing the risk of electrical accidents or damage.

In summary, the correct wiring of a shunt trip circuit breaker involves understanding the specific requirements, ensuring safety precautions, connecting the control switch and shunt coil properly, and thoroughly checking all connections. By exercising caution and following the recommended guidelines, you can successfully wire a shunt trip circuit breaker and reap the benefits it offers for a safe and efficient electrical system.


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