Your home's fuse box is the nerve centre of your entire electrical system. All of the circuits throughout your home correspond to one of the fuses in the box; the job of the fuses is to turn off the electrical current if an electrical fault happens to the system. The fuse turns off the circuit by burning out and breaking it. If the electricity is out in some or all of your home, you will need to go to the box and check the fuses.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Replacement fuses
Turn off the master switch if your fuse box has one. This will shut off power to the fuse box and all of the circuits. If your fuse box does not have a master switch, disconnect all of the plugs from outlets into the fuse (or fuses) that need to be checked. Unplug all devices that connect to the affected circuit or circuits.
Remove the blown fuse and replace it with one that has the same amp rating -- be sure to check the label on the old fuse before discarding it. Using a different rating can create a hazardous condition.
Plug all of your devices back in. If the fuse immediately blows before you have started plugging things in, there is a major problem in the wiring, and you will need to call an electrician. If the new fuse blows after you have plugged in the devices, there may be a short circuit in a particular device, or you may have too many demands on that circuit.
Tips and warnings
- If your outlet has no power but all of the fuses are still good, the outlet may be on a GFCI circuit. You'll need to reset the GFCI outlet for power to return to the outlet you are checking. If it is not on a GFCI circuit, there may be a wiring problem, so you will want to check the wiring for that particular outlet and others along that same circuit.
- Touching the metal in a fuse, while putting it in or taking it out of the fuse box, can lead electrical current right to your body, so make sure the master switch is off when replacing fuses. This will ensure that no current reaches the fuse while you are touching it.
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