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December 30, 2009 - 1:07pm

Check fuses and wiring to help avoid fire risk

posted by Howard B. Owens in Sponsored Post, Mark Lewis Agency.

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Chances are, either your home or the home of someone you know, has a fuse box. Fuses function the same way breakers do -- to cut off power if an electrical circuit is overloaded. Both fuses and breakers can be very effective in protecting your home against an electrical fire.

However, one problem that can arise with fuses occurs when someone inserts a fuse of higher amperage than the circuit is designed for. 

For example, a homeowner tires of replacing blown fuses and inserts a 30-amp fuse where a 20-amp fuse should go, the 30-amp fuse allows more current into the circuit than the circuit was designed to accommodate. 

The fuse "blows" indicating that the circuits are overloaded. These must be replaced as the fuse element burns up. 

A fire can result.

If you have a fuse box, it's a great idea to have an electrician inspect it and check the wire size to install the proper fuse bases. Type S fuses should be used in aging fuse panels to prevent over fusing. Type S fuses are the only type allowed by the National Electrical Code in new fuse box installations.

Whether you have a fuse box or a breaker box, have your electrician tell you the size of your electrical service to make sure it is sufficient. Years ago, 60-amp or 100-amp service wasn't uncommon; but most families today have electrical appliances that demand more service. It's smart to get an electrician's opinion on whether an update is needed since modern homes are typically wired for minimum 200-amp service.

Electrical fires are all too common, and many homes in the U.S. need electrical updates.  Please take whatever action necessary to update the electrical service in your home.

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