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Can a thermal overload protect against fire?
 

pc1966

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Do you mean a thermal-only breaker for over-current, or a heat-sensitive fuse?
 
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So does the thermal overload protect the motor cable? For example if I had a circuit feeding a large motor originally then had to connect a temporary bit of equipment of the same circuit which was a smaller motor could I just reduce the overload on that starter?
 

ipf

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So does the thermal overload protect the motor cable? For example if I had a circuit feeding a large motor originally then had to connect a temporary bit of equipment of the same circuit which was a smaller motor could I just reduce the overload on that starter?
You could, but it's only for protecting the motor.
Thermal overloads are for protection of the motor windings. This is altogether separate to circuit protection, which is via a protective circuit device. Cables have to be rated according to their protective device.
 
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