Electrical Panel 101: Types of Fuses You Should Know About for Easy Maintenance

In your home, you have a metal box known as an electrical panel. This panel holds fuses that supply electricity to different electrical circuits in your home. When you flip on a light switch or plug in an appliance, they are using fuses in the electrical panel. Here are different types of fuses you might find in the panel.

Plug Fuses

The first type of fuse you should be aware of is the plug fuse. This is the one that is most commonly used in home electrical panels. There are different sizes of amps for the plug fuses, which vary based on how much power needs to be supplied to certain electrical components of your home. Each plug fuse will control the amount of amp that particular circuit is receiving.

The plug fuses are typically for lighting and various types of electrical outlets. If you find a plug fuse with a melted ribbon, this is probably due to the fuse being blown. This happens when there is overload of the fuse, or if there is an electrical short. That metal ribbon usually carries the circuit's current, so when it is blown, the ribbon melts.

Tamper-proof Fuses

The next type of fuse you will find in your electrical panel is the tamper-proof fuse. These fuses provide the same basic purpose of plug fuses, but you will not be able to put in the wrong fuse for the fuse base. With plug fuses, you can actually replace a fuse amp with another one of a different size amp into that fuse's base. If you do this, you may end up with a blown fuse or can even start an electrical fire.

Tamper-proof fuses are therefore meant for additional protection and to prevent you from tampering with them. They are optional but highly recommended. The tamper-proof fuses come in the same sizes as the plug fuses.

Plug Fuse Adapters

You might also need plug fuse adapters for your electrical panel. These are needed when you have an older electrical panel and want to use tamper-proof fuses. These are a more modern style of fuse and don't always work with the older fuse panels. However, you can get plug fuse adapters so that you can use the tamper-proof fuses with your older panel. They also come in the different amp sizes and are easy to use. You just screw in the adapter fuse first, then place the tamper-proof fuses inside the adapters. You can now use the tamper-proof ones.

If you aren't sure what type of fuse you need, contact an electrician or electronic components surplus location. They will help you with choosing the right electronic components for your electrical panel.