Decades ago, fuse boxes were the only way to protect your home's wiring from damage caused by overloaded
circuits. One of the main drawbacks to a fuse panel was that there was nothing to prevent the homeowner from replacing
a screw-in fuse with a larger one if he was frequently blowing fuses due to using too much power on any single circuit.
As a result of using a larger-than-allowed fuse, the building's wiring would overheat and melt down, many
times causing a fire. In fact, the majority of house fires in the United States today are caused by electrical circuit overload.
The picture to the right is an example of such an overload. We were called to this house to replace the
fuse panel after a fire melted the inside of this fuse box. We discovered the cause of this fire to be numerous circuits protected
by larger-than-allowed fuses. What is interesting here is that the current homeowner did not replace the fuses with larger
ones; this was done many years before. The problem manifested itself after a week of sub-freezing temperatures where the owner
was using many plug-in electric heaters to supplement his heating system, thereby putting a large strain on the electric service
to the house.
Circuit breakers are now considered the safest way to protect your home's wiring from the overload conditions
described above. A properly installed circuit breaker panel will provide years of safe and reliable service in your home.
Since the breakers are hard-wired into the panel, the homeowner cannot accidentally replace one with a larger size, as can
be done with the older style fuse boxes.
Replacing a fuse
box with a circuit breaker panel is a routine job that we have been performing in Orange, Ulster, and Sullivan county
NY homes and businesses over many years. It involves removing the old fuse service and meter and replacing it with
a larger capacity breaker panel and new meter and service entrance wiring. We then coordinate the upgrade with your local
utility company so they can disconnect their wiring from the old service and connect to the new one. In most instances, this
job takes less than a day and is not as expensive as you may think! Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have about this service.
I was changing a light switch with the power on when it sparked.
Now everything on that fuse has no power. The fuse checks out OK. What could be the problem?
Did you check the fuse with a continuity tester or only visually? Many times fuses
blow and they don’t appear to be bad when looking into the glass window. If the fuse was bad, was it replaced with a
known working one?
If the fuse is definitely good, then you need to start searching all the devices on that circuit
for a loose connection that may have become worse when the spark (overload) occurred.
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Licensed electricians serving Orange
county, Sullivan county, and Ulster county in New York
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