Upgrading from Fuse Box to a Circuit Breaker

Our homes and offices are all connected to the city’s main electrical grid through our fuse boxed or circuit breakers, and while some consider these two interchangeable, there are huge differences between the two.

What is a fuse box?

Old houses are equipped with fuse boxes, which is basically a board set up with fuses that monitor the building’s electrical usage, and if the current starts to fluctuate or increase more than permitted, they blow and disconnect the circuit.

What is a circuit breaker/breaker box?

On the other hand, breakers boxes are fitted with a circuit board inside that hosts several circuit breakers. These breakers don’t trip in the event of an electrical accident, but rather disengage from the board with a loaded spring, disconnecting the circuit from the grid.

It’s important to learn about their difference before you decide to install a fuse box without finding out about the more modern option of circuit breakers. Circuit breakers have certain advantages over fuses, but some older houses may not support an upgrade to a breaker box without major repairs and rewiring work.

Fuse Box Vs Circuit Breaker

Fuses boxes can function just as well as breakers boxes if maintained properly, and there is no need to replace your existing fuse box without a reason. They can protect electrical circuits from overloads and other similar electric hazards if they are fitted with the right amperage fuses and

While more modern homes have circuit breakers, don’t worry if yours still has an old school fuse box instead. Fuse boxes will protect your home from electrical fires and electrical overload just the same.

In some cases, fuses are safer, since unsuspecting users can’t just switch them back on like circuit breakers. A fuse is burned out after it’s triggered, after which the fuse box and suspected appliances or wiring must be tested before it’s installed again.

It’s easy to replace a fuse, they’re cheap and can be bought in bulk; however, they come in different amperages, which is an important detail to note while buying replacement fuses. You should not use a fuse of lower amperage to replace a blown fuse since it will burn out again due to overload.

Do I Need this upgrade?

If your fuse box itself has deteriorated over time, or its main board break because of old age, the answer is a definite yes. Replacing old fuse boxes with new fuse boxes is an easy procedure since all circuits are already connected and fuse sizes are determined.

You’ll have a choice when you decide to replace your old fuse box, whether to upgrade your set of fuses to allow for additional fuses for an imminent renovation or add safety or replace it with a fuse box of the same specifications.

There is also the choice between the fuse box and a new circuit box, but that upgrade will take more time and cost more, especially if you choose a fully loaded consumer unit.

If you just added a new electrical appliance that caused the fuse to blow, upgrading your fuse board by adding an additional circuit and fuse to accommodate the extra electric load is the easiest option.

  • Convenience

    It’s not very convenient that you’re forced to switch the fuse with a new one in case of an overload, which means you should have a bunch of spare fuses around the house for such an occasion.

    Breakers, on the other hand, can be switched on again easily with no extra work, and it simply trips in case of an overload. It would take a serious electrical overload to instigate changing a circuit breaker.
  • Safety and Security

    Fuses are blown when overloaded, and a charge massively exceeding the limits of a fuse can cause it to catch fire and burn down the fuse board or fuse box, causing a full-on electrical catastrophe. Circuit breakers on the other hand are not susceptible to such risks, and can safely handle higher than anticipated load.
  • Capacity

    While high-capacity fuses are available on the market, they often pose safety risks when they are blown, since the resulting spark can be enough to cause a fire or damage circuits and fuses inside the fuse box. Listen to the advice of your electrical contractors in fuse box installations, sometimes choosing a circuit breaker instead is the right decision, despite the higher price. ignoring such risks can lead to more damage and expenses down the road.

Can I change my fuse box with a circuit breaker all by myself?

Replacing Fuses can be tricky

Now that you have learned more about the risk and issues of fuse boxes, you might be interested to replace your fuse box with a consumer unit or breaker box. But installing a new consumer unit, and in fact any changes in the electrical layout of your home must be carried out by a registered electrician who has experience with replacing them and is trained to follow safety guidelines during installation.

DIY Installation sometimes fail

While it’s not hard to change a fuse, replacing a circuit or installing a new circuit isn’t as easy as putting in a new fuse. Choosing the right fuse size and adding up the collective amperage and making sure it can sustain not just the current but potential electrical load of a property requires adequate knowledge of electrical engineering.

Carrying out risky replacements by yourself using instructions from the internet that usually miss critical details is only a recipe for disaster, as it can cause extensive damage to the overall circuit and put your life at risk.

Hire an expert to help you

It’s better to swallow your pride when faced with serious electrical issues and contact a registered professional for help and advice regarding fuse box installation in London.

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Author: Emma Watson