Fuses aren’t inherently unsafe. For instance, they work just like circuit breakers (except they can’t be reset and must be replaced.) However, most fuse boxes in homes today are unsafe because they’ve been modified to try to serve today’s energy demands. Continue reading for understanding fuse panel upgrade.
Homeowners (and sometimes contractors) create problems in many fuse boxes that make them unsafe. Here are a few:
Placing too many things on a single circuit. Because fuse boxes typically have fewer circuits, homeowners often end up plugging in too many electrical appliances to a single outlet. That leads to fuses that blow a lot, which can lead homeowners to replace that fuse with a figged amperage fuse.
Replacing a fuse with a bigger fuse, Example, If you replace a 15-amp fuse with a 20-amp fuse (or larger), your fuse may stop blowing. However, you’ll also create a massive fire hazard. The wires in that circuit are only rated for 15-amps, not 20!
Replacing the fuse with something metal. Some homeowners go a step further and insert a metal object (like a penny) where the blown fuse once was. Again, this eliminates blown fuses, but also completely removes the safety that fuses provide. Your wires could pull large amounts of electricity, overheat and therefore start a fire.
How to tell if you need a Fuse panel upgrade? Chances are if you have a fuse box, you already know it. But if you’re not sure, find your main electrical panel and open it up. Instead of a bunch of switches (circuit breakers) you should see fuses.
Most importantly, the majority of insurance company will not insure you have if you have a fuse panel, and would insist on a fuse panel upgrade. If they do insure you, they will ask you for panel conformity from a electrician.
What to do if you have one of these panels
In conclusion, if you have one of these unsafe and outdated electrical panels, we highly recommend replacing them. At the very least, you should have Mega Ohms Electrical inspect the panel to see if there are any signs of problems.