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How to Change a Fuse or Reset a Circuit Breaker

Posted By admin On April 15, 2009 @ 1:16 pm In Home Repair & Maintenance | Comments Disabled

At some point in every householder’s life it will be necessary to change a fuse or reset a circuit breaker. To ensure electrical safety in the home every house has an electrical fuse board where the main power switch and a number of fuses or circuit breakers can be found. The purpose of these fuses or circuit breakers is to reduce the risk of damage or household fire by preventing the wiring of your house from becoming overloaded.

Restoring Power

When a fuse blows, a certain area of your house will lose power. Restoring the power is a simple matter – all you need to do is change a fuse.

  • Turn the main power switch on the fuse board off. This will ensure your safety during the fuse changing process by killing all power to the house.
  • On some fuse boxes there will be a list indicating which fuses control which circuits in your house. This will allow you to quickly identify which fuse needs attention. If there is no such list, look for scorch marks around the fuse carriers – these are a good indicator of burnt fuse wire. If no scorch marks are visible remove the fuse carriers one by one and inspect them.
  • The fuse is a small length of wire, usually placed within a porcelain “carrier”. It is generally quite easy to see when this wire has burnt through. When you have located affected fuse make sure all lights, appliances etc. on that circuit are switched off.
  • Replace the fuse wire. It is essential that you match the rating of the fuse wire to the circuit. Lighting circuits should not use fuse wire with a rating of more than 10 amps (generally 5 amp wire is used). Socket outlets should not exceed a 15 amp rating (10 amp wire is the norm). Some larger appliances will require fuse wire with a heavier rating.
  • Return the fuse carrier to its slot and turn the main power switch back on. Check that the affected circuit is now working.
  • If the fuse immediately blows again, or if it blows on a regular basis, call a licensed electrician to diagnose the fault.
  • Some houses use circuit breakers rather than fuses. There are two general types of these – those with a switch, and those with a push-button. Both are equally easy to deal with: turn off all appliances on the affected circuit, identify which circuit breaker has tripped (the switch will have flipped to “off” or the button will have popped out), return the switch or button to its original position.

When you set out to change a fuse remember the risks associated with electricity and take all necessary precautions. Always turn the main power switch off before beginning work, and if in doubt about anything stop and call a licensed electrician.


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