What’s The Difference Between a Circuit Breaker and a Fuse Box?

Circuit Breaker in South Central Texas

Most people eventually encounter an overloaded electrical circuit. Fortunately, fuse boxes and circuit breaker boxes protect our homes from electrical overload. It may not be obvious what the distinction is between them because they both perform the same function. Fuses and circuit breakers stop the flow of electricity during circuit overload, but they do it differently.

How a Circuit Breaker Works

Circuit breakers are essentially complex on/off switches. They use a metal strip paired with an electromagnet. If the current passing through the breaker increases too much, the magnetic force will push the metal strip away, interrupting the current. Circuit breakers have the advantage of being easy to switch back on to re-establish the electrical flow. However, it isn’t easy to replace a circuit breaker. That requires an electrician. They are also more expensive.

Can I Replace a Circuit Breaker Myself?

Although replacing a breaker as a DIY project is possible, it’s not a job that most homeowners should probably undertake. We instead recommend hiring a licensed, professional electrician like those available through GVEC’s Electrician services. We specialize in these kinds of replacement installations, and we’ll make sure the job is done correctly, professionally, quickly and safely for a price that won’t send a shock through your household finances.

How a Fuse Works

A fuse consists of a small metal wire inside a ceramic casing. Once plugged into the fuse box, electricity passes through the wire. If the flow of the current overloads the circuit, it melts the wire inside the fuse and cuts off the current. Fuses are cheap to replace. They also work much faster than circuit breakers to stop the current. One big downside to fuses, however, is that it’s easy to put in the wrong size fuse when replacing one. Fuses have various ratings and voltage sizes, so it’s crucial to replace a fuse with the correct type.

Which One Is Better?

Fuses and circuit breakers ultimately perform the same task, and both offer advantages and disadvantages. In terms of safety, however, circuit breakers offer a more robust set of features to protect against electrical malfunctions and fires. This is a big reason why most modern homes have circuit breaker boxes. Fuse boxes are more common in older buildings. Whether you have a circuit breaker box or a fuse box, however, it’s important not to overload your circuits. Overloaded circuits can cause damage to your electrical system or start a fire.

Call GVEC’s Electrician Services, the Electrical Experts

Does your electrical system overload frequently? If you live in Gonzales, Schertz, Cuero, La Vernia, Moulton, New Braunfels, Seguin or anywhere else across South Central Texas, GVEC’s Electrician Services could be the right call for you. Our fully licensed, professional electricians will find the source of the problem and review it with you, answering all your questions. If you choose to hire us to fix the problem, we’ll keep you informed through every step of the process. Besides performing electrical repairs and installations, we also sell and install whole-home surge protection, and solar panel systems and battery storage solutions. We also install interior and exterior lighting, hot tub wiring, plug, and switch wiring, farm and ranch wiring, electrical safety upgrades, and more. To learn more, call us at 888.590.7773.