Typically, houses that were built around or before 1960 use a fuse box to control their electrical system, while newer houses are more likely to use a circuit breaker panel. Both fuse boxes and circuit breakers are used for the same purpose: to break the electrical connection anytime it is needed, especially when there is a power overload.
Even so, there are some major differences in how the two work. A fuse box uses filament inside of the box that will burn down the electrical circuit to break it off. On the other hand, a circuit breaker panel uses an electromagnetic system to do the job. When a problem occurs, the panel will switch off the troubled circuit.
The Benefits of Circuit Breaker Panel Over Fuse Box
- Quicker to Break Power Flow
When there is a power overload, a fuse box will take a few moments to burn out the circuit and cut off the power flow. Meanwhile, a circuit breaker will instantly flip the switch off.
- More Convenient to Switch Back On
After the power turns off, you can easily switch on your circuit breaker to bring the power back on. With the fuse box, you will have to replace the burnt fuse first, and it will be a lot less convenient if you don’t have a spare replacement fuse in your house or if nobody in the house knows how to replace a fuse.
The fuse box is safe. Unfortunately, it can be easily modified by homeowners without them realizing how much the modification may affect its safety.
- More Compatible
Most fuse boxes only have few fuses to control all of the electrical activities in the house. But nowadays, people have more appliances than they used to, so their fuse box may not be enough to contain it. A circuit breaker, on the other hand, is more capable of serving such demands.
When Is it Time to Replace Your Old Fuse Box with an Updated Circuit Breaker?
With so many disadvantages of using a fuse box, you might want to consider replacing it with a brand new circuit breaker, especially if you notice alarming signs such as:
- Unexplainable Fuse Blows
The fuse normally blows when there is a power overload. But if your fuse blows without a clear reason, then there might be a problem with your fuse box, especially if this happens frequently.
- Loose Fuse
Loose fuse means there can be some damage to the panel’s terminal. This may create problems like sudden power loss or other electrical problems.
- Fuse Box Has Been Modified
There are many reasons people modify their old fuse box:
- Connecting too many appliances to one circuit because homeowners have many new appliances while the number of fuses in the box is limited.
- Replacing a fuse with a bigger one to avoid blowing.
- Replacing the burnt fuse with random metal objects because it is an easier and quicker way to get the power back on after a fuse blows.
However, such modifications may cause instability to the fuse box itself, which can be dangerous to their houses.
What is an Amp Rating?
Having a basic understanding of amperage is important to know exactly what your fuse box can handle. Amps are a measure of electric current running through your circuit. Trust a professional to use the right-sized wiring to make sure your system doesn’t overheat.
Consult a Professional
It is safe to continue using your old fuse box if it is still in prime condition. However, considering the advantages of a circuit breaker, an upgrade would be highly recommended. If you are still unsure about the condition of your fuse, it is a good idea to have it inspected by professionals.