Circuit breaker and fuse are both used to protect your home from electrical fires. Fuses and circuit breakers do a similar job, but there is one major difference between the two that you should know about before deciding which one to use in your home. Fuses work by melting when they reach their limit of power flow, while circuit breakers will turn off the electricity completely until it can be reset. Fuses are easier to replace than circuit breakers, but you need to make sure that when you’re replacing a fuse with a circuit breaker that you know the nitty gritty technical details of them. This blog post will go into detail about the differences between circuit breakers and fuses and when you should use one over another.
What are the differences between Circuit Breaker And Fuse?
Fuses are great for when you need to protect the circuits in your home from overloading, while circuit breakers are best used on large appliances that use a lot of electricity. Fuses should not be used with high voltage or direct current lines, but circuit breakers can be used anywhere there is an electrical source. Fuses also have much shorter time limits before they react than circuit breakers do, which means they’re better for quick power surges and short-term purposes rather than long term protection. Here are some other technical difference between fuses and circuit breakers:
- Fuses are more prone to arc faults, which can lead to a fire. Fusible links are an exception because they’re made of metal but still contain some combustible material whereas circuit breakers don’t have any parts that would be flammable and therefore less likely to start a fire if something goes wrong.
- Fuses also have the disadvantage of having to be replaced when they blow, which means you’ll need a long-term replacement plan and more money. Fuses also have limited voltage ratings whereas circuit breakers can be used for virtually any type of wire that is up to the rating limit.
- Fuses are also more sensitive to voltage spikes. Fuses can be used as a quick fix for power surges, but circuit breakers are better in the long run because they’re less likely to have problems like blowing and don’t need replacement.
- Fuses are more likely to be tripped accidentally than circuit breakers, which is a good thing because it protects them from being overloaded. Circuit breakers can also cause brownouts or blackouts if they’re on too long and will need to be reset with the main power switch.
- Fuses last about 15000 cycles while circuit breakers last about 20000 cycles. Fuses can be used for low-voltage and AC lines, while circuit breakers cannot. Fuses are also easier to install than circuit breakers because they don’t require a neutral line in order to work properly.
- Fuses cost less than $10 (USD) whereas each individual circuit breaker is about $60 (USD). Fuses are also typically smaller than circuit breakers and easier to install.
- Fuses need to be replaced when they blow whereas circuit breakers can last for more than one power surge before needing replacement, which is a problem if an appliance should have protection right away.
Working principle of a Fuse
Circuit breaker and fuse both work to prevent fires, but that is where the similarities end.
- Fuses work with metal wires that conduct electricity; Fuses will melt if they overload with power flow, which will break the circuit and prevent a fire. Fuses are all metal, so they never wear out. Fuses operate very fast and are used in low voltage circuits. Fuses are commonly used in appliances and other electronics. Fuses are generally rated in amperes or volts, but they can also be used to protect against overcurrent. Fuses are generally used in low voltage circuits, from branch circuits coming into the fuse box. Fuses can be of two types: the cartridge type and the plug-in cap type. Fuse caps have a self-contained metal strip that melts when it overheats, while fuse cartridges contain strips of wire embedded in resin or wax . Fuses are wired in series with the circuit they protect and are a more common protection option than circuit breakers because they can be installed in branch circuits to protect the entire home.
Working principle of a circuit breaker
- Circuit breakers work as a switch that will turn off power if it overloads; circuit breakers do not have a metal wire inside for protection like fuses do. Circuit breakers may use a bimetal strip with an alloy inside. When circuit breakers are heated, the bimetal strip will expand and contract. As it expands a little bit as a result of that heat, circuit breaker contacts move apart, creating an open circuit that prevents electricity from flowing into the area.
- Based on the application and voltage level there are different types of circuit breakers.
Which one should you use in your house?
A fuse limits current flow by melting when it reaches its rated capacity, while a circuit breaker opens an electrical path to stop power from flowing. Which one should you use in your house?
Fuses are used for low-current applications like individual outlets or lights that might be overloaded with too much electricity. Circuit breakers are typically installed at service panels or near main switches so they can protect high voltage appliances such as ovens and stoves.
If you’re looking for short-term protection from an electrical surge then a fuse would best suit your needs; on the other hand if you want something long term then a circuit breaker is what’s needed! Fuses don’t provide any safety feature against overloading so installing them could be a huge liability. Fuses are best when they’re used for short-term protection, like with computers or microwaves that run on smaller circuits and have the potential to overheat themselves if left unattended. Circuit breakers should be installed in areas where there is high voltage running through larger appliances such as dishwashers, refrigerators, washing machines, dryers etc.
How to replace Fuse With A Circuit Breaker:
Fuses are a one-time protection for your home or office, while circuit breakers provide continuous protection. Fuses should be replaced with circuit breakers when you know there is an overload condition that will happen again in the future (e.g., adding new equipment). If you need to replace the fuses with circuit breakers on your home’s electric panel, make sure to turn off all of the power before doing any work! Then you should find out which fuse has been blown out. Then, replace the fuse with a circuit breaker of similar amperage rating. Fuses are primarily used in older homes or buildings that have sectionalized wiring systems. Circuit breakers can be found at your local hardware store for about $20 -$30 each while fuses cost around 25 cents.
Circuit breakers may seem to be a safer option to use than fuses but fuses also have their uses against different home appliance. Always be sure that you install the right type of circuit breaker in your home, and have it inspected every year by an electrician.