The fuse box found in older homes is a protective device that cuts off the electric current to a circuit that has shorted out or is overloaded. The box contains little screw-in glass or porcelain plugs, each with a little window showing a fusible link that will melt when the electricity flow exceeds the preset limit.

This cuts the power to the circuit. Checking and changing a fuse can be accomplished without tools. Find the fuse box. It usually is a gray or black rectangular metal box with a door on the front, located in a basement, garage or closet on a wall close to the electric meter. Lay the rubber mat on the floor in front of the fuse box and stand on it.

Open the box door and turn on the flashlight to inspect the fuses. Look closely at each fuse. The window on a good fuse will be clear. That is the fuse that needs to be replaced. Identify the circuit affected by the blown fuse. Turn off light switches and unplug electrical devices in that area before attempting a fuse replacement. Turn off house power at the main switch. Stand on the rubber mat in front of the fuse box. Unscrew the blown fuse. Do not touch the metal threads while removing the fuse.

Look at the fuse for its amperage rating. The rating usually is molded in the glass body, printed on a label on the fuse or stamped on the metal button on the bottom of the screw-in fuse base. Replace the blown fuse with a new fuse having the same amperage rating as the blown fuse. Screw the new fuse into the threaded socket that held the old fuse.

Turn on house power.L ocated inside or outside of your home is a fuse box that contains a fuse for each of your home's circuits. A fuse provides protection for each of your electrical circuits by stopping the flow of current if an overload or fault occurs. When an electrical short occurs or the load on your circuit becomes too great, the fuse on that circuit burns out and breaks the circuit; this is what is referred to as a "blown fuse.

Before electricity can be restored, the fuse must be replaced with a new fuse. However, even before you replace the fuse, you must take steps to ensure that it is safe to do so.

Turn off or unplug all of the devices that are plugged into the circuit. Make certain that no dangerous condition exists before restoring power. Replace the fuse with a fuse that is of the proper rating for the circuit. For instance, if the circuit is rated for 15 amps, use a 15 amp fuse. Never use anything other than a fuse of proper rating. If your fuse box is equipped with a master switch to cut power to the fuse box, cut the main power prior to replacing the fuse.

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Electricity should now be restored to the circuit. If the fuse blows again before you have turned anything on or plugged anything in, a serious wiring fault may exist. Consult a qualified electrician immediately. If the fuse blows after plugging in or turning on a device, that device may have a short or may be placing too much of a load on the circuit. If no fuses were blown and you still do not have power at an outlet, make certain that the switch, if any, that controls the outlet is turned on.

All automotive fuse box diagrams in one place

If you can find no problem, the outlet, switch, wiring or some other component may be at fault. Also, the outlet may be on a GFCI branch circuit. Refer to the guide for checking a GFCI outlet. Caution : Please read our safety information before attempting any testing or repairs.

Gallery Reviews Search. Type your question here. All rights reserved.A fusebox, also sometimes known as a consumer unit, should be easy to find and is where the electricity in your home is controlled and distributed. You might have more than one mains switch, for example if your home has electric storage heaters. In this case you may have a separate fusebox. For more on RCDs please click here. They are similar in size to fuses, but give more precise protection. But make sure you correct the fault first.

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When a fault or overload current flows through the fuse wire, it will become hot and melt. The melted fuse breaks the circuit, disconnecting the faulty circuit and keeping you safe.

If your fusebox has a wooden back, cast iron switches, or a mixture of fuses it is likely that it dates back to before the s and will need to be replaced. Guidance Safety around the home Fuseboxes explained Fuseboxes explained.

fuse box

Fuseboxes A fusebox, also sometimes known as a consumer unit, should be easy to find and is where the electricity in your home is controlled and distributed. Find an electrician We recommend that you use an electrician registered with one of the government-approved schemes Find an electrician.

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ComiXology Thousands of Digital Comics.The electrical system in every home has some form of circuit protection to shut off circuits in the event of an overload, short circuit or ground fault. In homes built after about —or in older homes in which the electrical service has been updated —this protection is usually provided by a series of circuit breakers in the main service panel. Circuit breakers are mechanical devices that sense the amount of current flow and "trip" when the current flow exceeds the safe capacity of the circuit wires.

However, if you have a home built before and the electrical service has not been updated, there is a good chance that you have a different of circuit protection—screw-in fuses found inside a main fuse panel.

Fuses are relatively simple devices. The fuses that protect individual volt circuit are typically ceramic screw-in plugs that fit into threaded sockets in the fuse panel. A thin metal strip inside the fuse conducts all electrical flow through the circuit and if the current flow exceeds the current-carrying capacity of the metal strip, it overheats and melts, thereby interrupting the flow of current and shutting off the circuit.

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The fuse is a kind of early-warning system, which senses overloads and "blows" before the circuit wires themselves can overheat and possibly cause fire.

Larger volt circuits, as well as the main fuse that controls the main power flow, use a different type of fuse design. This type of fuse is a cylindrical cartridge that fits into a fuse block that slides in and out of the fuse panel. The principle is the same—the metal conducting strip inside the fuse burns through if the current flow exceeds the safe capacity of the circuit. Unlike modern circuit breakers, fuses cannot be rerest.

Instead, blown fuses must be unscrewed or unplugged and replaced. It is quite important that the fuses be properly matched to the amperage of the circuit. There is a distinct danger, for example, if a amp fuse is used with a amp circuit, since this creates the potential for the circuit to draw more power than the circuit wires can safely handle. Fuses are housed in a fuse box —the precursor to the main service panel found with modern circuit breaker systems.

fuse box

The fuse box is usually located away from main living areas, such as the garage, laundry room, or basement. Breakers are rectangular units with on-off toggles. Most breakers are arranged in banks or rows. In a fuse box, on the other hand, you will see a group of round screw-in plugs with small glass windows.

Your fuse panel may include several different types of fuses.Each circuit in the home is protected by a fuse, and each fuse must be the correct type and have an appropriate amperage rating for its circuit. Using the wrong type of fuse for a circuit can pose a serious fire hazard, so it's important to identify the correct fuse for each circuit. Fuses for standard circuits not high-voltage appliance circuits are called plug fuses and have screw-in bases.

There are two different types of bases and screw-in fuses: the Edison base found on Type T fuses and the rejection base found on Type S fuses. Rejection base Type S fuses will work with Edison-type sockets only when combined with an adapter base that screws and locks into the Edison socket. The Type S fuse then screws into the adapter. Rejection bases are also known as "tamper-proof," and they were developed to prevent homeowners from using the wrong type of fuse for a circuit.

Each Type S fuse of a specific amperage rating has a matching base adapter with a specific size of thread that prevents mismatching the fuses. For example, it stops a person from putting a amp fuse in a amp circuit, a potentially serious mistake.

fuse box

A amp Type S fits only a amp base adapter. By contrast, a Type T fuse can fit into any Edison socket, regardless of the circuit's amperage. They are general-purpose plug fuses and are "fast-acting"—that is, they have no time-delay fuse element and quickly interrupt the circuit once the fuse's rated amperage is exceeded. These fuses are designed for use in general lighting and power circuits that do not contain electric motors. Electric motors draw additional current at startup and will blow a Type W fuse if the motor is of any significant size.

Because of this, time-delay fuses are used much more commonly than type-W fuses. SL and TL fuses are medium-duty time-delay fuses and are now the most commonly used plug fuses found in home electrical systems.

Without a time-delay feature, simply starting your garbage disposer or refrigerator would cause a fuse to blow. These fuses have a longer time-delay feature than the SL or TL fuses.

What Is a Fuse Box?

However, just like the SL and TL fuses, the only difference between the S and the T heavy-duty fuses are the bases: type-S has a rejection base; type-T has an Edison base.

Heavy-duty time-delay fuses contain a spring-loaded metal fuse link attached to a solder plug. If the overloaded circuit condition continues for too long, the solder plug melts and the spring pulls the fuse link free, cutting power to the circuit. This allows the fuse to absorb a longer temporary circuit overload than with other time-delay fuses. Mini-breakers fuses are retrofit circuit breaker fuses that screw into Edison-base fuse sockets. They essentially replace a fuse with a push-button circuit breaker.

Mini breakers have a little button that pops out when the circuit is overloaded. All you need to do is push the button back in to reset the breaker. Mini-breakers are also designed for time delay, so they do not trip unnecessarily when motors or appliances start up. The Fuse Box.

Continue to 2 of 6 below. Screw-In Fuse Bases. Continue to 3 of 6 below. Type-W Fuses. Type-W fuse rating: volts; up to 30 amps. Continue to 4 of 6 below. Type SL and TL fuse rating: volts; up to 30 amps.During these challenging times, we guarantee we will work tirelessly to support you. We will continue to give you accurate and timely information throughout the crisis, and we will deliver on our mission — to help everyone in the world learn how to do anything — no matter what.

Thank you to our community and to all of our readers who are working to aid others in this time of crisis, and to all of those who are making personal sacrifices for the good of their communities. We will get through this together. While it is not a common occurrence, every once in a while you may have to replace a fuse or reset a breaker. It helps to know where your circuit breaker or fuse box is beforehand so you aren't searching in the dark during a power outage.

Boxes can be anywhere from outside to in your basement. Once you've found it, it's important to know the difference between a circuit breaker box and a fuse box, and how to restore power. To find your fuse box or circuit breaker box, try searching in your garage, storage spaces, basement, or hallway for a metal box that's flush with the wall.

Once you find your box, open the door. If you see rows of switches, you have a circuit breaker box. Alternatively, if you see round fuses that are screwed into sockets, you have a fuse box.

For more tips from our Electrician co-author, like how to replace a blown fuse, keep reading!

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Co-authored by Ralph Childers Updated: April 8, This article was co-authored by Ralph Childers. Ralph Childers is a master electrician based in the Portland, Oregon area with over 30 years of conducting and teaching electrical work.

Ralph received his B. There are 20 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. Replacing a Blown Fuse. Resetting a Breaker.

A Guide to Screw-In Fuses

Tips and Warnings. Related Articles. Article Summary. Part 1 of Search inside your home.

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