If you have an older home that uses a fuse box instead of a modern circuit breaker panel, you can still find repairs for it when you encounter problems. If you notice more and more repair needs for your fuses, you should consider switching over to circuit breakers since your home’s electrical needs have surpassed the fuse box’s capacity. For example, old fuse boxes were often wired for 60 amps total capacity, and used four 15-amp circuits. Today, most homes use 150–200 amps of electricity and require dozens of circuits.
Our electricians at Mister Sparky® of the Bay Area can handle repairs for any age of fuse box, so when you notice the below warning signs that your have fuse troubles, give us a call. We can also arrange for updating your fuse box to a circuit breaker panel; ask our specialists in electrical repair if switching from a fuse box to newer technology is the best choice.
Warnings You Need Fuse Repairs
- Fuses burn out regularly: If you’ve lived in your current home long enough, you will have a good idea of how frequently it experiences blown fuses. If fuses start blowing far more often, and due to simple causes that never created issues before, then you will need to call for a professional electrician to investigate the fuse box and find if there is a fault with it, or if the power demands the appliances in your home are placing on the electrical system are starting to overload the circuits. (In some situations with older houses, it may be necessary to install new, higher capacity wiring along with replacing the fuse box.)
- Acrid, burning smells: One of the dangers of bad fuses is the possibility of electrical fires. Fires can occur within the fuse box itself, and should you notice a burning smell from the fuse box, shut off the power immediately and call for emergency repair technicians. (Please note that although replacing a fuse box with a circuit breaker panel will reduce the chance of fires, circuit breakers are not 100% free from fire hazards.)
- You are adding higher capacity fuses: One of the dangers of fuse boxes is putting in larger capacity fuses into them instead of having an electrician wire in a new circuit. If you replace a 15-amp fuse with a 30-amp fuse to handle the increased electrical demand, that will cause a serious fire hazard. If you have added—or have been tempted to add—higher capacity fuses to your fuse box, you should instead call for an electrician to add a new circuit. Don’t cram a fuse box full of 30-amp fuses in order to overcome electrical issues; call for electricians.
In most cases of trouble with fuse boxes, you should give serious thought to replacing the old unit with a circuit breaker panel. The change in the amount of electricity we use in our homes has shifted dramatically within even the last 20 years… and if you live in a home that’s 50 years old, you might be using amps three to four times more powerful than the fuse box was built to handle.