Depending on the age of your home, your electric service panel will have either circuit breakers or fuses protecting your electrical system. Generally, older homes rely on fuses, while circuit breakers are the more modern choice. If your home does use fuses, it is important to find a quality service provider to make any repairs or replacement that are necessary.
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About the Fuses in Your Home
Most modern homes have circuit breakers in their electrical panels, but if you live in an older home, you might still be working with a fuse box. The fuses in your fuse box provide your home with protection from overcurrent, blowing the fuse if there is too much electricity running through at any one time.
Unlike the simple-looking switch in a circuit breaker panel, fuses resemble light bulbs because they are threaded and must be screwed into the sockets in the fuse box. There are two basic types of bases for household fuses; the Edison Base, or Type T fuses and the Rejection Base or Type S fuses. It is important to replace blown fuses with the proper size, which is why consulting with a licensed electrician is key.
How Fuses Work
Fuses are safety devices that will interrupt, an electrical circuit if it has been overloaded. There is a metal strip on each fuse that safely melts when this happens. An electrical fuse protects against electrical overloads and a thermal fuse protects against overheating. Unlike a circuit breaker that can simply be switched back on, a fuse that has blown must be removed and replaced with a new one.
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Signs of a Fuse Problem
If a fuse blows in your house, the corresponding appliance or gadget will no longer function. The purpose of the fuse is to prevent damage to the electrical appliance, so if you suddenly lose power, it could mean a fuse has blown to protect that appliance. If you replace your blown fuse and it blows again once you turn on the appliance, then there is likely a problem in the fuse box that requires deeper investigation. For any type of fuse issues, a professional electrician is always the best remedy.