During our inspections, sometimes we see old glass fuses. Fuses still do their job, which is to shut down the power if too much electricity is going through them. This protects the wires from overheating and possibly starting a fire. Fuses typically function well.
However, fused electrical systems do have some inherent issues.
- Typically, fused systems are old and not capable of providing enough power. Often, fused electrical services only provide 60 Amps as opposed to 150 or 200 Amps, (typical for today’s standards). In addition, usually there are not enough circuits for today’s electrical needs.
- When there are not enough circuits, often multiple wires get connected to a single fuse (called double tapping) which is an electrical safety concern.
- If a fuse “blows” it must be replaced. As opposed to circuit breakers which can easily be reset (similar to a light switch).
- Circuit breaker systems can incorporate today’s safety technology, such as GFCI’s (ground fault circuit interrupters) and AFCI’s (arc fault circuit interrupters). These newer technologies provide a substantial safety improvement.
Fused electrical systems are usually recommended to be replaced with an updated circuit breaker system. Updating the system, including bringing in more power typically costs between 1,500 and $2,000.
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