Fuses to Breaker Panel Changes

Fuse Panels

The fuse box controls the incoming electricity and distributes it to the smaller circuits within the house. It provides over-current or ‘shut off ’ protection through the use of fuses.

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How do fuses work?

The fuses melt, internally, when the flow of electricity, measured in amperes (amp), exceeds the fuses rating. Thus ‘turning off ’ the source of electricity.

Common size fuses are 15, 20, 25 and 30 amp. They are colour coded: Blue - 15 amp, Orange - 20 amp, Red - 25 amp and Green - 30 amp. The fuse box will have threaded sockets into which the fuses will be screwed. These large threaded sockets look like light bulb sockets.

When a fuse melts, or most commonly referred to as ‘blown’, it must be unscrewed from the fuse panel and a new one, of the appropriate amp size, screwed into place. This will ‘turn on’ the source of electricity.

NOTE: Using a fuse of higher rating, such as replacing a 15 amp fuse with a 20 amp or more, can be extremely dangerous.

Why do fuses ‘blow’?

Fuses blow to protect people from electric shock and to protect your electrical devices and wiring from overheating and in extreme cases, catching fire. When a fuse blows or a breaker trips, it is important to determine why. If the fuse is replaced with a new fuse and it ‘blows’ again, it’s best to contact Burton Electric Inc. We can safely make the necessary repairs to get your electricity working as well as protect you, your loved ones and your property. Fuse panels themselves also need to be regularly inspected for signs of problems and they may need to be upgraded and replaced periodically to cope with changing needs.

Why are Breaker Panels better than Fuse Panels?

  • When a fuse fails, or most commonly referred to as ‘blown’, it must be unscrewed from the fuse panel and a new one, of the appropriate amp size, screwed into place. This will ‘turn on’ the source of electricity.
  • When a breaker trips (blows), you turn it to the ‘off ’ position, to reset an internal spring and then simply turn it back on. No need to find or purchase a replacement fuse.
  • When a fuse blows, homeowners need to select the right size fuse to replace it. Using a fuse of higher rating, such as replacing a 15 amp fuse with a 20 amp or more, can be extremely dangerous. However, it is all to common, for a homeowner, when they are sitting in the dark and not having 15 amp fuse handy, to simply put in any fuse, of any size, that fits, just to get the lights back on. Proper fuse sizing for a circuit protects your electrical devices and wiring from overheating and in extreme cases, catching fire.
  • When a breaker trips, no need to worry about improper sizing. It’s set. Turn the breaker back on and your ‘good to go’.
  • Most fuse panels in homes are over loaded with two or more wires attached to a single fuse. (Rule: One wire. One fuse.)
  • Breaker panels offer more circuit capacity. This will allow the ‘doubled up’ circuits to be separated onto their own breaker. Most times leaving plenty of room for future circuits.

Burton Electric Inc. offers creative solutions and qualified electricians to make your home safe and comfortable. Our work is competitively priced and backed by a one-year guarantee on labour. Our materials carry the manufacturer’s warranty.

Burton Electric will apply for an electrical permit on your behalf! We will make arrangements to have the work inspected by an ESA inspector and, upon passing, issue a ‘Certificate of Inspection’ to you. Please keep a copy in your records for future use.

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