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How do you change a fuse in a fuse box?

Mar 30, 2021

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Blown fuses are one of the most common reasons that your outlets fail, which can lead to big problems these days when you’re relying on that electricity for important tasks. 


Completing a circuit breaker fuse replacement isn’t an overly complicated task, but it can be very dangerous. As with any electrical work, there are many risks to a DIY fuse replacement, so if you’re hoping to learn how to replace a fuse, be sure to follow the steps exactly and call a professional in to help if you’re ever unsure how to proceed. Always follow proper safety measures when handling electrical equipment.

What are Blown Fuses?

The entire purpose of a fuse in your circuit breaker is to keep your wiring and equipment protected against electrical faults due to excess current. Electrical faults can be powerful enough to damage equipment and wiring. A “blown” fuse occurs when the amount of current exceeds the circuit’s maximum for an excessive time; if you plug in a piece of equipment that draws more than the fuse’s rated value. 


The relationship between trip time (the amount of time it takes to blow a fuse) and the overload-to-rated-current ratio (the amount of current being drawn) varies depending on your electrical system. However, if you have a blown fuse, you can assume you were either drawing way too much power, or overdrawing power for too long.

How to Prevent Blown Fuses

The best way to stop blowing fuses is to be more careful about not overloading your circuits. Keep extension cord use to a minimum and pay attention to the amount of power you’re drawing at various outlets. If you are being careful about not blowing fuses but your circuit breaker keeps tripping regardless, there could be a more serious electrical issue in need of repair. Call your electrician to inspect your electrical system in this case.

Signs Your Fuse Needs to Be Replaced

That spark you see on your outlet when you plug in an appliance doesn't necessarily mean your fuse blew or that it needs to be replaced…so what are the signs that a fuse needs replacing or that your fuse box might need a repair? Here are some to keep in mind:

Your Fuses Burn Out Regularly

While fuses are meant to trip to keep your equipment, wiring, and home safe, regular tripping isn’t normal. If you keep having to complete a circuit breaker fuse replacement, especially without any apparent reason, something more serious is going on in your electrical system that needs to be repaired.

You Continually Add Higher Capacity Fuses

Adding higher capacity fuses could be an easy way to fix blown fuses, but only if that’s safe for your wiring. If you continually need to add higher capacity fuses to keep your fuses from tripping, your electrical work needs more attention.

Your Fuse Box Emits a Burning Smell

When fuses blow, there is often a burning smell from the melted plastic. This is normal. However, if your fuse box constantly gives off acrid, burning odors, something is amiss and you could be at risk of an electrical fire. Call your electrician right away to take a look.

How to Replace a Fuse in a Fuse Box

As mentioned before, you should always follow proper safety measures when dealing with any type of electrical equipment, and while a DIY fuse replacement is possible, it’s not always the best idea. Consult your electrician before attempting a DIY circuit breaker fuse replacement and be sure you’re fully prepared to handle the task.


Follow these steps to replace a fuse in a fuse box:


1. Turn off and unplug all electrical appliances from the outlet(s) where the outage occurred, including lights, appliances, etc.

2. Turn off the main power supply to the fuse box.

3. Open your fuse box to identify the blown fuse. Look for the fuse with melted metal or with a glass covering that appears discolored.

4. Unscrew the damaged fuse and replace it with a new fuse. To make sure you get the right fuse, take your old fuse to the hardware store and ask for the correct replacement.

5. Once the fuse box is closed, turn the main power supply back on and conduct a test to make sure evreything is working appropriately.


Leave the Electrical Work to the Electricians

Attempting to do electrical work on your own is always discouraged, largely due to the severe health, safety, and fire risks. Instead, leave it to the professionals with years of experience and training in electrical home repairs. Contact CroppMetcalfe online to schedule an appointment for circuit breaker fuse replacement today!



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