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How to repair a fuse in a fuse box

While many modern homes feature trip switch fuses boxes, some older properties have older wired fuse boxes. A fuse is a crucial safety component designed to interrupt and prevent the flow of electricity if something goes wrong. This happens when your home has a faulty appliance or when an electrical voltage exceeds its circuit’s capability. In modern fuse boxes, the fuse will ‘switch off’, but in older boxes, the fuse will ‘blow’ after heating up and melting. If your fuse is blown, you’ll need to replace it. Read on and learn how to change a fuse with our handy guide.

How does a traditional fuse box work?

Traditional fuse boxes contain fuse carriers and wire. There are no switches – when a circuit encounters an electrical fault or rush of excessive power, the fuse will blow and break the circuit. A blown fuse is a broken fuse – your only option is to replace it.

There are two main components in a fuse box.

  • Fuse wire: The actual wire that breaks when a circuit encounters a fault. Every fuse box features multiple fuse wires, each representing a different circuit.
  • Fuse carrier: Holds the fuse wire in place. In some cases, a fuse carrier comes with an external fuse case.

Where can I find my fuse box?

You’ll usually find a wired fuse box in a garage, patio, utility room or cupboard under the stairs. It should be a place that’s easily accessible so you can find it if the lights go out.

What causes a fuse to blow?

Although changing a fuse is relatively easy, it’s not something you want to do all the time. That’s why it’s important to understand the common causes of a blown fuse. Take action to prevent these things from happening, and you’ll only have to consider fuse replacements once in a blue moon.

Overloaded circuit

An overloaded circuit is the most common reason for a blown fuse. This happens when a circuit attempts to carry a larger electrical load than it’s capable of. Too many lights or appliances operating at once could force a fuse to blow, preventing the wire from heating to dangerous levels.
Extension leads are notorious for overloading electrical circuits. Avoid using all the sockets on your extension lead as it could overheat. If it gets too hot, your fuse will blow.

If the fuses in your fuse box blow regularly, it’s a sign you’re demanding too much of a circuit. You should consider moving some of your electrical appliances to other circuits. Or, you could opt for a service upgrade to increase the number of circuits in your home. You’ll need to hire a qualified electrician to do this for you.

Short circuit

A short circuit occurs when wires or components carrying electricity unintentionally touch. Faulty insulation, loose connections, or household pets chewing on wires are usually responsible. Short circuits can be particularly dangerous, so it’s best to leave the repair work to an expert.

Faulty electrical appliance

If one of your appliances has faulty wiring or a loose connection, it might cause a fuse in your fuse box to blow. Unfortunately, if you’ve got a lot of appliances plugged in, it’s difficult to identify the source. You may need to change the fuse and plug each appliance in one at a time until the broken appliance blows the new fuse. Don’t use any faulty appliances; they can be dangerous.

How to change a fuse in a traditional fuse box

Changing your broken fuse is easy. Start by buying fuse wire from a hardware store. Just make sure it has the same amperage as the fuse you’re replacing. You can usually find the amperage labelled on the fuse itself. You’ll also need a screwdriver and wire cutters. To change a blown fuse:

  1. Turn off all appliances, including your lights and boiler.
  2. Make sure to turn off the fuse box. Usually, it turns off automatically when a fuse blows, but it’s best to always check.
  3. Inspect the fuse carriers and find the broken fuse. It will be physically broken, burnt through or discoloured.
  4. Use a screwdriver to loosen the carrier’s screws and remove the broken fuse wire.
  5. Thread a new fuse wire through the central part of the carrier. Then, wrap the wire around the first screw in a clockwise motion, followed by the second screw.
  6. Tighten the screws and remove any excess wiring with wire cutters.
  7. Place the carrier back inside your fuse box and turn on the master switch.
  8. Your circuit should now be fully repaired, and your electrics should turn on.

If the fuse blows immediately after you plug one of your devices back in, either the circuit is shorting or you’re encountering a faulty appliance. Should this happen, you should seek advice from an electrician.

How to replace a blown fuse in a plug

Has an electrical appliance stopped working? Is your fuse box blowing when you plug an appliance in? You’ve probably blown a fuse in the plug. Fortunately, changing fuses in a plug is easy – let’s explore how.

  1. Examine the plug for scorch marks and burning. If either is present, it’s a sign of a faulty appliance. Return the appliance to the store (if you have a warranty) or call an electrician.
  2. If the plug is in good condition, remove the screws under the base using a screwdriver.
  3. You’ll find the fuse on the right side of the plug. Lift the fuse with your screwdriver to dislodge it.
  4. Replace the fuse with a fuse of the same amperage (check the appliance’s instructions if you’re unsure).
  5. Reassemble the plug, plug it into the wall, and switch the device back on.
  6. If a blown fuse was the problem, your appliance should now work again.

Unfortunately, some devices have internal fuses in addition to plug fuses. These aren’t nearly as easy to locate and fix. If the problem comes from an appliance with an internal fuse, like an oven fuse, call a qualified electrician to carry out the work.

Get help from a qualified electrician

Do you need help replacing a fuse? Call in a qualified electrician – they’ll handle any repairs for you. Electrical problems can be a real nuisance, which is why we suggest taking out home cover. Our comprehensive home cover includes repairs to your home’s electrical wiring by a qualified and experienced electrician. Benefit from our 24/7 helpline. Our experts will guide you through quick fixes like changing a plug’s fuse.

For more information and to get a quote, take a look at our home care plans. Prefer to speak to a real person? Give our friendly team a call on 0330 912 4843 today.

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