A reclosing breaker, often simply called a recloser, is a type of circuit breaker that, upon sensing a fault, automatically resets itself multiple times before locking open. Reclosers prevent long outages from temporary problems. When the recloser detects a problem on the system such as a lightning strike or a tree that has come in contact with a distribution line, it opens the circuit, but just momentarily. After a short interval called the reclosing time, the breaker closes to re-energize the circuit to see if the problem has corrected itself. If it has, the system remains energized and customers have been spared an extended outage.

If the device still detects a problem after closing the circuit, it will again open momentarily. If the problem still exists after a pre-programed number of attempts to close the circuit, the recloser opens again and stays open until a manual intervention such as a service crew deals with the problem. For short temporary problems, reclosers limit the customer’s experience to one to four momentary outages rather than an extended one, resulting in increased reliability.


A recloser installed on a utility distribution pole (inside box)