Is It Dangerous to Have a Fuse Box in My House?

technicians checking a unit.

If you open the electrical panel for your house, what do you see inside? If it’s a series of switches, then you have a breaker box. If you see a set of circular colored knobs, you have a fuse box.

Chances are good that you already knew you had a fuse box before you looked. After all, you landed on this page because you’re wondering if an old fuse box is still safe to have in your house and whether or not you should arrange for Tacoma, WA, electrical services to have it upgraded. We can provide some answers to these questions to help understand when it’s time for an electrical panel replacement.

How Fuse Boxes Can Be Problems

We don’t want you to panic about your fuse box since you aren’t in immediate danger. Fuse boxes functioned for many decades as the standard way a house protected different circuits from electrical overload. However, they do pose some electrical hazards because of the increase in the voltage used in modern homes.

The fuse and the breaker perform the same some: safeguard the electrical system of a house by cutting off excess voltage flow. A breaker does this by tripping a switch that cuts off the circuit, and fuse by burning up because of the heat and stopping the current through the circuit.

Fuses are not as reliable as circuit breakers, but the main problem fuses have today is they need to be larger in order to handle the higher voltage demands of homes. Houses today have many more powered items in them and more outlets. For a fuse box to handle this without constantly blowing fuses, they need to be modified with bigger and bigger fuses. This is where a fuse box starts to present a fire hazard. The circuit is only rated for a specific amount of amps, so putting a larger amp fuse onto a smaller amp rated circuit is potentially dangerous.

Even worst are unlicensed modifications to the fuse box. Any unlicensed work on an electrical system presents a hazard, but some of the patchwork fixes our electricians sometimes discover in fuse boxes are frightening. One of the most common of these amateur “patches” is to place a penny in the fuse box after too many fuses keep blowing. The penny will allow too much current to flow through without burning out. But now the wires are in danger of burning out! If you live in an older home (pre-1990s) and aren’t the first resident, you may already have a dangerous modification like this in your fuse box.

Although the fuse box you currently have may not be riddled with bad fixes and patches, we still recommend the upgrade to a modern breaker box panel. It will increase safety in your house and also make life more convenient as you continue to add more electrical devices to your house. Call our electricians to arrange for a new panel upgrade. We have extensive experience with making these upgrades for local homeowners, and the safety of our customers is a priority.

Resicon LLC is committed to improving the lives of our customers. Request a free consultation about your home’s electrical needs.

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