Whether you’re a homeowner or commercial property manager, it’s important to have some sense of how the electrical system works. Most people have experienced an overloaded electrical circuit, for example: that’s where a circuit breaker and a fuse box play a role. They protect homes from electrical overload by stopping the flow of electricity. Because they perform similar functions, it’s not exactly obvious what the distinction is between them, but they perform their jobs differently. Read on to learn more.
How a Circuit Breaker and Fuse Box Work
A circuit breaker is an intricate on/off switch. It has a metal strip and an electromagnet. If the flow of electricity increases too much, the magnetic force pushes the metal strip away and stops the flow of electricity. It’s very simple to turn it back on to continue the flow of electricity. However, if you need to replace a circuit breaker, you cannot do it on your own; you’ll need an electrician.
A fuse is a ceramic casing with a small metal wire inside. When it’s plugged into the fuse box, electricity flows through the wire. If the circuit is overloaded, the wire melts inside and halts power. Unlike an entire circuit breaker, they’re affordable to replace and work faster. The downside to fuses is that it’s easy to replace them with the wrong size.
Fuses and circuit breakers have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. When it comes to safety, circuit breakers offer more features to protect against fires and electrical malfunctions which is why modern homes are equipped with them. Whether you have one or the other, the most important thing is to not overload them.
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Tim Kyle Electric, Heating & Cooling has been providing clients in Maryland with residential and commercial services since 1986. No job is too small. Whether we’re changing a light bulb or providing you with a more complex project, we always give our all. Our services include panel upgrades, small and large commercial projects, home safety service plans, landscape lighting, and surge protection. Click here to learn more!