electrical panel repair in Lansdowne, PA

Do You Know the Difference Between a Fuse and a Circuit Breaker?


Fuses and circuit breakers are two essential safety devices for electrical circuit protection. In the event of an overload, both fuses and circuit breakers interrupt the flow of electricity. There are advantages and disadvantages to both of them. Both systems are essential, but only one is required for a building or home. They are not interchangeable. So what exactly are they?


What Exactly Is a Fuse?


A fuse is also used to stop the flow of electricity if it becomes overloaded. However, it operates in a very different manner than a circuit breaker. The most common type of fuse is made of a metal wire enclosed in a ceramic and metal casing. The fuse is connected to the main fuse box. The wiring for the structure runs through this main fuse box. There will be no barrier to stop current from flowing between circuits if there is no overload. However, if an overload occurs, the metal melts, halting the flow of electricity. This is commonly known as "blowing a fuse." When a fuse blows, it needs to be replaced. Fuses have varying voltage levels and ratings, so consult a professional before purchasing a new one after an old one has been discarded.


What Exactly Is a Circuit Breaker?


A circuit breaker functions in two ways. One method is to use an electromagnet. The other is via a bimetal strip. When an electrical current flows, the circuit breaker allows the current to flow across the metal strip from bottom to top. If the magnetic force becomes too strong, the strip will collapse, causing the current to break. When this occurs, all you have to do is reset the current. Normally, this is accomplished by simply flipping the switch and reconnecting the circuit. A circuit breaker is usually found in a cabinet or box inside or outside the house. Circuit breakers also serve other purposes, such as serving as ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI), which prevent electric shock. This is especially useful in places where water is constantly used, such as kitchens or bathrooms.


What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Fuses and Circuit Breakers?


Each circuit protection system has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. It is critical to weigh both options before deciding on one. For example, fuses react faster, are less expensive, and can be easily and quickly replaced. Most homeowners would be able to safely and effectively change a fuse on their own. However, if you find yourself in a situation where you require a new fuse but cannot obtain one, this can be a serious issue. This is especially true at night! To reset the electricity flow, flip a switch on a circuit breaker. Circuit breakers, on the other hand, are more expensive. They're also more challenging to install and maintain. A few factors will determine whether a circuit breaker or a fuse is preferable. For example, you'll need to know how old a home's wiring is, what electrical devices or appliances you use, and how much electricity you use on any given day. If you need a new circuit breaker or an electrical panel repair in Lansdowne, PA, contact JDV Electric today.