What makes a fuse blow? (with photos)

A glass fuse.

For those who still enjoy the charms of glass or ceramic fuses, this is rarely a good time to blow a fuse. It usually takes place at the end of an exciting football game or just before the killer in a mystery is revealed. When you blow a fuse, the search for a replacement overrides everything, but what makes a fuse blow in the first place? The short answer is heat from an overloaded electrical circuit, but there’s more to it than that. That blown fuse could have saved the rest of your house from a fire.

Fuses in a fuse box.

Electricity enters the average home at a certain intensity, which electricians measure as voltage. For best results, this electrical current should flow through your home and back to the outside line without unusually high resistance. When you plug all of your electrical appliances into outlets, however, you create some resistance in the wires. The amount of actual electricity a given device uses is measured in terms of amperage. A clothes dryer with a large electric motor and heating element requires more amperage than a toaster, for example.

A household fuse.

Electricians want to keep electrical wires from overheating, so they install safety devices called fuses in a centralized box. Each fuse is designed to withstand a certain amount of amperage, but the wire inside the fuse melts when it gets overheated. When you blow a fuse, the wire will usually break in two and the power going through that circuit is immediately cut off. Excess heat occurs whenever appliances draw more amperage than the circuit can handle. If the fuse is rated for 25 amps, for example, and a user plugs in a 75 amp clothes dryer, the excessive amperage will blow the fuse.

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Electricians want to keep electrical wires from overheating, so they install safety devices called fuses in a centralized box.

Sometimes a series of temporary overshoots can weaken the fuse filament, which means you can still blow a fuse without exceeding the amperage. Some fuses are designed to withstand a series of brief overloads before blowing, but others quickly blow after a continuous power surge. When you blow a fuse, it is important to disconnect all appliances and devices from that circuit before installing a new fuse. The power required to reset these devices can cause yet another blown fuse.

Today, circuit breakers are more commonly used than fuses in home construction.

If you continually blow a fuse when using a high amperage appliance, you may need to change the rating of the fuse itself. The fuse rating must exceed the amperage demands of the appliances it protects, so you may have to purchase larger fuses to avoid future problems. While getting a more robust fuse might solve your problem, it won’t always necessarily be the case. The circuit that connects power to the fuse still needs to be able to handle that amperage. Raising the fuse rating to something higher than the wiring can accommodate can cause bigger problems than just a blown fuse. In the United States, a typical household outlet usually has a fuse rating of 15 to 30 amps (i.e. 15 amps in bedrooms, 20 amps in kitchens, and 30 amps in laundry rooms), so increase your fuse rating to something above that. could cause problems. When in doubt,

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