How to tell if a fuse is blown in your home
How to tell if a fuse is blown in your home

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How to tell if a fuse is blown in your home

A lot of older homes here in Springfield have fuse boxes instead of circuit breakers. 

If you have heard a “pop” and your power has shut off, it’s likely that you’ve blown a fuse in your home. 

We’ll go over how to tell if a fuse is blown in your home, common causes, and when it is in your best interest to call a residential electrician to fix it. 

Do I have a fuse box or circuit breaker?

First thing’s first: Do you have a fuse box or is it actually a circuit breaker?

Either through necessity or preventative measures, most people try to upgrade their electrical panel to a circuit breaker.

Yet, people still commonly refer to a tripped circuit breaker as a “blown fuse.”

So, locate your electrical panel. It could be in your garage or basement if you have either of those. 

Then, open up the door and take a look at what you’re working with. 

A fuse will have what looks like an encased wire that will melt if overheated by too much electricity flowing through it. 

A destroyed fuse, after whatever caused the surge is fixed, is simply replaced with a new one.

If you actually have a circuit breaker, they have switches that are “tripped” in case of an electrical surge. 

Breakers only have to be turned back on (again, ONLY AFTER you have determined and have made necessary repairs).

What causes a blown fuse?

These are some common reasons for blown fuses or tripped circuit breakers: 

Overloaded circuit

Do you have a lot of appliances plugged into a single outlet? 

One common cause for an overloaded circuit is if you have a power strip that allows for multiple items to be plugged into it and they’re all running or have multiple items that require lots of power to operate.

If there’s no evident damage or burning smells, you can try turning off or moving some of the electrical appliances drawing power from the circuit in question.

Circuit is shorted

A shorted circuit happens when electricity has escaped its intended path and has grounded itself outside the circuit. 

Usually this happens when insulation surrounding the circuit has failed or your electrical panel is faulty. 

In this case, you could find burn marks near outlets, smell burning, or find other evidence of damage.

Do not attempt to turn the circuit back on or replace the blown fuse. Switch off your power and call an electrician to be safe. 

The wrong fuse was installed

If you tried to replace a fuse on your own, or had an inexperienced or non-licensed electrician do it, and you immediately lost all power and the new fuse blew you could have installed an incorrect type of fuse. 

First, if this is what happened there has likely been extreme damage done to appliances, wiring, and anything plugged into the circuit. 

Do not go near the panel and call a licensed electrician immediately.

Damaged outlet

Does one outlet seem to keep causing fuses to blow or your circuit breaker to trip? 

You might have a faulty outlet. 

One solution is to simply replace the outlet but it’s recommended that you have your home inspected to make sure that truly was the only issue. If you have old, outdated outlets you likely have other electrical issues waiting to rear their ugly heads.

Springfield homeowners trust Bonnivier Electric

If you have experienced a blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker, there are many, many potential causes. 

Old wiring, outdated electrical panels, and other electrical issues are not something you want to put a proverbial band-aid on. These issues will return and can cause extensive damage or start fires. 

It’s best to trust a licensed electrician to inspect your home and make the necessary repairs to keep you and your family safe. 

Levi Bonnivier of Bonnivier Electric is a licensed Master Electrician in Springfield with over 15 years of experience and is the electrician business owners trust. 

However, he’s also available for residential jobs! So, give him a call at 417-430-1516 if you think you have blown a fuse.

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