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Fuse Box vs. Circuit Breaker Panel: Understanding the Primary Differences

March 11, 2021
by dmirza
fuse box vs. circuit breaker

If you recently bought your first home, you may not know much about the electrical panel. Or, perhaps you have been living in the same house for years and are now considering energy-efficient home upgrades.

Either way, you may have many doubts, like the benefits of fuse box vs. circuit breaker. It is crucial to understand the primary differences between the two to make the best decision.

Fuse Box vs. Circuit Breaker: Purposes and Installation

The essential job of both a fuse box and circuit breaker panel is the same: protect the entire home and electrical system from fire hazards. When there is too much energy usage in one spot or zone of the house, the associated circuit can get overloaded.

It causes overheating of the wires and other components and induces electrical fires at home. Fuse boxes and circuit breakers shut off the power supply to the overloaded circuit and prevent unwarranted incidents.

Fuse box vs. circuit breaker differences lie in their installation. Older homes built before 1961 tend to use a fuse box. If your home is more recent, you have a circuit breaker panel. Circuit breakers have large amp panels and are easier to use.

How Does a Fuse Box and Circuit Breaker Work?

If you want to know which is better fuse or circuit breaker, see how they work:

Fuse Box

A fuse box is a panel of old-school fuses, which are devices made of glass or ceramic. Fuses screw into threaded sockets, and a special wire detects the amount of current flowing through it. 

When more than recommended electrical current passes, the fuse wire melts. It breaks the circuit and protects it from overloading. As a result of “blowing a fuse,” there is a need to replace it and restore electricity to your home.

Circuit Breaker

Coming to the working of fuse box vs. circuit breaker, they both function similarly. The only difference is that the circuit breaker trips and disconnects the power source when there is too much electricity flowing. Hence, there will be no need to replace glass bulbs.

A circuit breaker panel has a row of switches. When a switch trips, you can flip it back or toggle to restore power.

Which Option Is More Effective?

Some modern homes may still have fuse boxes, but they also protect the building from circuit overloads. Furthermore, replaceable fuses are inexpensive and readily available in the market. However, it is essential to find the right type of fuse wire, or else the wrong voltage can damage the wiring.

So, which is better: fuse or circuit breaker?

Comparatively, circuit breakers are far safer and faster in opening a circuit. You can also reset the connection with a simple flip. In fact, circuit breakers came to be accepted because they are more effective.

Improve Your Quality of Life with Home Electrical Upgrades

If you are remodeling your home, it may be the right time to consider the advantages of a fuse box vs. circuit breaker. Contact licensed electricians for more information and get a home energy audit to save money. Compare energy plans on Shop Texas Electricity and cut your monthly bills in half.

2 Responses leave one →
  1. July 13, 2021

    My house was built in the 1950s so I think it’ll have a fuse box. I’ll see if an electrician can come out and change it to a circuit breaker. That way it’ll be easier to use on my own.

  2. July 17, 2021

    Thank you for the advice to have appliances and plugs checked regularly for damage. This would really help me avoid electrical fires or overloading a circuit.

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