Types of household fuses

Written by sharon lynn
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Types of household fuses
Household Fuses (Fuse panel image by Charlie Rosenberg from Fotolia.com)

The fuses in a home help to keep the electric safe by stopping any shorts or overloads in the wiring. The two main things that protect the electric in our homes are fuses and circuit breakers, which both act to shut off the electric when there is an overload in the current. Circuit breakers have switches that flip off when the current is too high, but they can be flipped on again. When household fuses blow, they have to be replaced with a new fuse. Safety is a huge issue in any household and fuses help to keep our homes safe. There are two main styles of fuses used in homes, i.e., plug and cartridge.

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Plug-Type Fuses

Plug-type fuses have bases that screw into a socket that is located in the fuse box, much like putting a light bulb in a socket. There are four types of plug fuses such as standard, type S, time delay and circuit breaker

Standard-Type Fuses

Standard-type fuses have a strip of metal that runs down the middle of the fuse. A little window in the fuse shows the metal strip that is inside. When the fuse blows out, the window in the fuse will turn black or have a clouded appearance.

Type-S Fuses

Type-S fuses are much like standard-type fuses except they have two parts, one being the fuse and the other the socket adaptor. The adaptor screws into the fuse box. The adaptor should not be taken out unless it is showing signs of being blown with discolouration or if it has been cracked. The type-S fuse screws into the adaptor. Remember to use the correct size when replacing a fuse.

Time-Delay Fuses

Time-delay fuses are used in places that have large appliances, such as air conditioners, that can easily cause power surges. Time-delay fuses allow for temporary circuit overloads. When the power is surged, the fuse delays blowing because of a cork of solder inside the fuse. When the solder melts, the fuse will blow. This allows more time for a power surge.

Circuit-Breaker Fuse

The circuit-breaker fuse has a button that comes out from the middle of the face. When a circuit breaker fuse blows, the button should be pushed back in to reset it again.

Cartridge-Type Fuse

A cartridge-type fuse consists of a small round tube with a fuse inside and metal contacts at each end of the tube. This fuse acts in the same way as a plug-type fuse. Both the plug- and cartridge-type fuses use a ribbon or wire as an element. The cartridge fuse is used to help shield the main power circuits and protect any circuits that have a large amount of electricity drawn from them.

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