Why are people scared of fuses? A lot of people have the idea that fuses are unsafe, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. When properly installed, a fuse is just as safe as a circuit breaker. There are however, many reasons why fused homes can have problems. A fuse will only be able to handle the amount of amperage that it is rated for. If a fuse is rated for 15 amps and more than 15 amps attempts to pass through the fuse, a thin strip of carefully calibrated metal will vaporize and open the circuit. This is also known as killing the power. Fuses will never let more current to pass through it than what it is rated for.
Upgraded Circuit Breakers
Circuit breakers are designed to trip when too much current passes through it for too long a period of time. Circuit breakers can be reset after they have tripped, which is clearly a huge advantage over fuses, but they do not add any level of safety. This is why circuit breakers are used in newer homes instead of fuses. The most important reason is because a circuit breaker can be re-used. Once a fuse is blown, it has to be replaced. Old electric services will have fuses, and old electric services can have problems. This might be the reason people are leery of fuses. A typical 60 amp fuse box might have one 240 volt circuit for the air conditioner or electric dryer, plus four more fuses for the rest of the wiring in the home. Comparing this with the minimum number of circuits required today, you can see that this is completely insufficient. Today’s newer homes have one circuit for the dishwasher, one for the garbage disposer, two for the countertop outlets, one for the lights, and another for the microwave and refrigerator. This covers a minimal installation. Some electricians will have the fridge on its one circuit and have another 240 volt circuit for the electric range. This adds up to nine spaces in one electric panel making the example of the old 60 amp panel having six spaces available for the entire house inadequate.
Higher Demands for Electricity
Today’s demand for electricity makes old services inadequate. To make up for this, some homeowners use fuses that are too large for the wires, which will keep the fuses from blowing, but also creates a fire hazard. Sometimes, several wires will be connected to a single fuse lug. Each fuse should only have one wire. This is called double tapping or double lugging. This is a common defect in both fuse panels and breaker panels. When a fuse panel is overloaded, it most likely needs to be replaced. There are many problems connected with fuse panels. Many insurance companies will change a premium for homes with fused services or will not insure them at all. If you buy a home with a fused electric service it would be a good idea to have it replaced to a breaker panel. The price after basic installation will go up if new circuits are added to the home or there are wiring upgraded performed.
Quality Electrical Work in Pompano Beach, Boca Raton, Davie, Fort Lauderdale & South Florida
It is good to know that there isn’t anything wrong with having fuses, but most old fuse panels have enough problems with them to seriously consider replacement. Call Burley Electrical Services for all your electrical needs.