A fuse box predates the breaker box as a way to prevent fires caused when a circuit is overloaded. A fuse will contain a piece of metal that is designed to burn up if too much electricity flows through the circuit. Fuses can be inconvenient in that whenever a fuse blows, you lose power to one of the circuits in your house. While newer houses will have a breaker box, older homes will have fuses. If you live in a home with fuses, there are a few things to keep in mind.
How to Recognize a Blown Fuse
Some fuses are made from transparent glass. When these fuses burn up or "blow," smoke from the burning metal will cloud the glass. In some cases, there will be no cloudy glass, but you will be able to see a broken piece of metal. Some fuses will have a paper cover that does not allow you to see damage to the fuse. Make sure that you label these fuses so that when a circuit goes out, you can identify the damaged fuse and replace it.
Replacing a Fuse
When a fuse blows, you have to replace it with a new fuse. If you are working with a large fuse, you may need to invest in a fuse puller, but it should be a simple matter of pulling out the old fuse and then putting the new fuse into the slot once occupied. Make sure you keep a supply of fuses on hand so that when a fuse goes out, you can quickly replace it. You should also keep a flashlight with fresh batteries on hand.
Why Do Fuses Blow?
A fuse is designed to burn up when the draw of electricity is too large for the circuit. Thus, when a fuse blows, you need to investigate the circuit. Start by unplugging all the appliances on the circuit and/or turning off all the switches. Next, turn on the switches one by one and plug the appliances in until the fuse blows. Whichever appliance or switch causes the fuse to blow is the one that is causing the problem. Call an electrician to make repairs.
Fuses serve a purpose, but buying new fuses every time one of them blows can put a drain on your budget. You should consider updating your home so that it uses a breaker box. If this is the case, you will definitely need to call an electrician like one from Midway Electric Inc to make the switch.