Electrical Fuses 101

Published: 09th April 2009
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Most people who are not familar with electricity don't know that electrical fuses protect from over amperage, not over voltage.

Amps or amperage is the flow, or amount of electricity. Voltage has to do with the force the electricity current flows. A example of this would be a fire hose with a nozzle delivers high pressure (voltage), but low volume (amperage). The fire hydrant may have huge volume (amperage), but will only push the water a few feet due to it's low pressure (voltage). So when you multiply amps x volts you get the wattage.

Every electrical circuit whether a large shop machine or motor, is setup to handle specific amperage. Your wiring is only so big, and if you try running too many amps through the wires, they'll get hot and melt. The purpose of a electrical fuse or circuit breaker is to trip or blow before damage is done to the machine, electrical product, or wiring.

Standard Home Fuses

New homes have circuit breakers but many older homes have a fuse box that which fuses screw into sockets similar to light bulb sockets. There are two types of bases for sockets, the Edison Base which are Type T Fuses and the Rejection Base which are Type S Fuses. The Edison Type T base fuse screws directly into the socket in the fuse box. The Rejection Base Type S fuse actually screws into a adapter base, which locks the fuse into the fuse box. Each of the Type S fuses has a different size adapter base for each different amperage rating fuse. With the different types of fuse bases you are unable to put a larger amp rated fuse into a smaller amp circuit.

Many older homes also use a Edison Type W fuse which are becoming all but obsolete. These Type W fuses are fast-acting, and have no time delay element. The Type W is designed for general lighting and power circuits that do not run electrical motors. A electric motor draws more current when it starts up and will blow the Type W fuse.

The medium duty time delay fuses which are now a commonly used plug fuses for homes, these are called the "TL" and "SL" fuses. The "TL" fuse is a Edison fuse and the "SL" fuses use the rejection base. These fuses are used where power surges can occur such as the garbage disposal.

When larger motors are used in circuits or motors that cycle on and off many times use "S" and "T" fuses. These fuses are heavy duty time delay fuses and the differences are the "S" fuse uses rejection socket bases, and the "T" fuse has a Edison base.

The last type of home fuse is a retrofit circuit breaker fuse called Minibreakers. These fuses convert a socket fuse into a push button circuit breaker that pops out when overloaded. To reset these breakers all you do is press the button back in and your up and running.

Get more electrical fuse and circuit breaker info today from a leading fuse supplier and keep your home safe.



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