Are you thinking of upgrading your fuse box? Every home with working electricity has a fuse box. If your home is older it may have a circuit box, but the purpose of each system is the same: to control the electrical flow entering your home. It’s responsible for the electricity you use in every room in your home; your lights, appliances, and even charging your devices.
Where is My Fuse Box?
This small box oversees both controlling and distributing all of your home’s electricity It’s important to know where this device is located, in the event of an emergency you may need to turn off the electricity flowing into where you live. A fuse box or circuit breaker could be located in a basements, garage, or closet. It could also be outside next to the meter box for your house. Depending on the model and age of your home, it may be harder to find. If you check these areas and you are still unable to locate your fuse or circuit box, a professional will be able to help you.
Fuse Box Components
A fuse box is made of three key components:
- The Main Switch is responsible for providing electricity to your entire home. If you turn it off, your house will no longer have power. It typically looks like an actual switch and is often red.
- Residual Current Devices are separate switches within the box itself. They are responsible for turning off the electricity when presented with dangerous situations. If a circuit is tripped, the power will automatically shut off.
- Circuit Breakers and Fuses are just another protection method within the fuse box. If a fault is detected, they will switch off the power. When a circuit “trips” the switch can manually be reset. A fuse may be used instead of a breaker, depending on the specific system. A faulty circuit will cause a fuse wire to melt, breaking the circuit connection as a safety precaution.
Inspecting Your Fuse Box
Electricity can be extremely dangerous if you’re not sure what you are doing. For any major issues, a professional should always be contacted before trying to handle it on your own. With that being said, there are steps you can take to visually assess the condition of your fuse box or circuit breaker. Using a flashlight, you may be able to see if there are any visible faults. If any section looks burnt, cloudy, or worn, it’s a sign that your system needs work. Be careful not to touch any metal parts during inspection.
Signs You Should Upgrade Your Fuse Box
- If your fuses blow frequently, it’s highly likely that your system has issues. Any sort of wiring or current problem can cause this to happen. Fuses can also seemingly blow for no reason at all, and it isn’t too uncommon. It’s the frequency that’s a cause for concern. A professional may need to take the box apart to determine the underlying issue, and figure out the best way for it to be fixed.
- Loose fuses are a sign that your system may need work or even a total upgrade. If the fuses are loose or faulty, they can fall out. This can cause electrical problems, such as total or partial power loss. If you are sitting in your living room and the power goes out in that area only, it’s likely that you have one or more loose fuses.
- Any sign of burning is not only a sign you should be upgrading but a severe safety hazard as well. If a malfunction in your fuse box or circuit breaker is causing burning, melting, or charring, you should contact a professional immediately. The parts will have to be replaced, and if the damage is extensive enough you may even need rewiring. Without professional attention, these issues can lead to electrical fires that can damage your home or destroy it entirely.
- One last telltale sign that something may be wrong is if you can hear your fuse box. Any humming or buzzing can indicate a loose or damaged wire or a faulty breaker. Any noise or spark should be addressed immediately.
Now that you are aware of the signs indicating that you may need a fuse box upgrade, don’t hesitate to act. If you wait too long, you could damage your system completely. Electricity is very dangerous when it isn’t handled properly, so you should always consult a professional.