A fuse box is a vital electrical component in any home. It directs and control power across your property. Electrical application has evolved a lot from the past and homes now have circuit breakers instead of fuses. But keep in mind that whenever a fuse box is mentioned, an electrical control panel is actually referred to.
A licensed electrician in London explains the technicalities involved in a modern electrical system in the following paragraph.
- An electric grid, a solar panel or any other alternative energy source feeds power to the fuse box.
- The power then branches out to different areas across your home including the fuse box or control panel, main switch, circuit breakers or switches and residual current device or RCD.
One of the best emergency electricians based in London explains, each of these electric system components have distinct roles to play to ensure you enjoy smooth, undisrupted and safe power supply across your home.
Distinct roles of different electrical system components
- The control panel or fuse box – it is a metal box that is usually installed in the basement, garage or outdoors. Just like an air traffic control, it directs and controls power supply to your home.
- Main switch – it turns the power on or off throughout your home.
- Circuit breakers or fuses – they control power supply to individual circuits placed at different locations across your property (like the power line running to your master bedroom, another line that runs to the kitchen and likewise).
- Residual current device or RCD – it is basically a safety mechanism that shuts down power supply whenever a fault occurs to prevent fire.
Point to be noted according to an emergency electrician in London old fuse boxes usually do not have this mechanism.
The role of the fuse box controlling the entire electric supply at home
A fuse box sends the right amount of electric power to each circuit connected to it. The device can also switch off power supply to a specific circuit. Fuse boxes play a crucial role in protecting your home from electrical fires.
Under normal circumstances all the fuses or circuit breakers remain switched on at all times. Before starting any electrical work, you have to remove or unscrew a flip breaker switch or fuse to stay safe from electric shocks.
The capacity of electric circuit breakers and fuses are measured in Amps or Ampere. It is a measure of an amount of electricity. Usually electrical circuits require a 15 amps fuse or circuit breaker. On the other hand, electrical circuits that power large appliances require 20 amps fuse or higher.
When there is a sudden surge in electricity consumption on a circuit that exceeds the maximum amps capacity, the fuse gets blown. You have to replace it with a new one. The surge in power consumption occurs when you plug in too many appliances at a time on an electric circuit or there is any damage or fault in it.
In either case, it is important to fix the problem and replace the damage flip breaker or fuse with a new one.
Most modern fuses need only to be unscrewed and then pulled out. Some varieties include metal clips. It is crucial that you always replace a fuse with exactly the same variety. In other words, the replacement fuse should bear the same threading type and the same amperage as the replaced one.
When there’s a mismatch between the two, the circuit may overheat and damage the electric wiring. In severe cases it can also trigger electrical fire.
How important is upgrading from fuse box to circuit breaker panel
Qualified and licensed electricians at the Electric Works London suggest that if your old fuse box is in healthy condition and is operating smoothly and safely, there’s no need to replace it unnecessarily. But if any mechanical part wears out or you are consuming substantially more electricity compared to the past, then it is better getting the fuse box upgraded.
Switching over to a circuit breaker from a fuse box involves lot of technicality and must be done by professional electrician. Flickering lights and frequently blown fuses the tell-tale signs that your existing electric control panel must be upgraded.