In many older homes, fuses are used to protect electrical circuits. The purpose of a fuse is to provide protection in the case of circuit overload and short circuits. If your home was built after the late 60s, it will have circuit breakers, or trip switches, installed that control the flow of electricity. Unlike a system that uses breakers that you can reset, a blown fuse needs replaced.
The Importance of Fuse Sizes
The size of the fuses you use is important because they are designed to protect against circuit overload. The fuse will not allow wires to conduct too much power. For instance, you may use a 15-amp circuit breaker for wiring that is 14-gauge or higher. If you use a higher amperage fuse to replace a blown fuse, it won’t effectively protect the circuit during overload. This can result in wires overheating and starting a fire.
Causes of Blown Fuses
Having too many devices plugged into a circuit is the most common cause of fuses blowing. This is particularly true of power-hungry devices, such as toasters. Most homeowners assume this is what is causing the problem and work around the issue by limiting plugged-in devices. Another potential cause of fuses blowing is a short circuit. When a hot wire touches either the grounding pathway or a neutral wire, it results in the circuit shorting out. This is what commonly occurs when a miswired device is plugged into a circuit.
If your fuses are frequently blowing, there could be a serious issue with one or more circuits in your home. At Affordable Electric, we are committed to providing our customers with excellence in electrical service repairs. Call our offices today to report a problem, and we will send an experienced electrician to inspect your circuits and carry out any necessary repairs.