How to Replace a Blown Fuse
Fuses have to be replaced after they've stopped excess electricity from harming your home
By Shelly McRae
Fuses are 19th century technolgy found in older homes and commercial buildings that prevent dangerous levels of electricity from causing fires. Excessive current melts a small piece of mental inside that prevents to the electricity from flowing. When power is cut by a fuse, it's time to replace it. Residential fuses look like glass-topped plugs that screw into sockets in your fuse box.
- What You Need to Know
- You'll need an assortment of replacement fuses to choose from.
Using their power switches, turn off appliances, lamps or electronics that you suspect are affected by a blown fuse. Leave one lamp turned on. This will help identify when the appropriate fuse has been replaced.
Locate replacement fuses. Fuses are measured by amps, such as 15A or 20A. Several sizes of fuses are used to service your home. Always replace fuses with ones of the identical amps.
Get a flashlight and locate the fuse box. Open the door and examine the panel. Look at the array of fuses; you are looking at the tops of the fuses. Built into the tops of fuses are inspection windows. When a fuse blows, these windows appear blackened. Locate the blackened window.
Remove the fuse. Grab the top between your thumb and forefinger and gently twist to the left until it is loosened. Pull it from the socket. Do not, under any circumstances, use metal tools like pliers or scewdrivers to remove or replace a fuse. If you can't get the fuse out or should the fuse break off in the socket, call an electrician. Do not attempt to remove it yourself. The voltage in the panel can be deadly.
Note the size of the fuse. The size is printed on the top or side of the fuse.
Place the good fuse into the empty socket and turn it gently to the right using your thumb and forefinger.
Check the lamp. If the lamp is on, you have properly replaced your fuse.
You'll need to replace the fuses one at a time if none of the inspection windows appears black. Remove one fuse, replace it with a new one and check the lamp. If the lamp remains off, remove the replacement fuse and replace the original fuse. Repeat this process until you have identified and replaced the blown fuse.
Turn on the electrical devices affected by the blown fuse. If the replaced fuse blows, the problem lies elsewhere. There may be too many devices on one circuit, resulting in an overload, or one of the devices may have faulty circuitry. Call an electrician.
Map out your fuse box. Identify the area a fuse services by removing that fuse. For example, if you remove a fuse and the electricity in the kitchen goes out, write "kitchen" next to the socket using a marker. Continue until all fuse sockets are identified.
About the Author
Shelly McRae is a regular contributor to DexKnows. She has experience with hydroponic gardening and other areas of the home improvement industry.
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