I am currently working on a test fixture that functionally tests a PCB by applying 120VAC to it's Line and Neutral input. The device under test consumes about 600mA @ 120VAC and should never go above 1A. I have a 1A 240VAC thermal circuit breaker in series on the line input. To test the breaker I created a direct short across the power terminals that apply power to the DUT and got the breaker to pop. However, resetting the breaker does not work. It got pretty warm and I believe it melted internally. This happened with two breakers.
I understand that a direct short pulls an infinite amount of current through that breaker faster than the mechanicals can switch - causing a bunch of heat. So would an inrush current limiter with a steady state value just above that of the circuit breaker (say 1.5-2A) be an adequate solution to this problem?
How can I effectively protect my circuit and circuit protection in this case?