Older homes are more likely to have a fuse box in place of a circuit breaker box. It is actually good idea to get the fuse box replaced with the more modern and safe mechanism of a circuit breaker. Although a more modern technology, yet a circuit breaker too needs to be upgraded at certain intervals. Now you must be wondering why? What are the benefits of upgrading a fuse box to a circuit breaker? Let us sort out all the answers in the following sections. Here we go!
Understanding a fuse box – what is it?
A fuse box draws electricity from the power grid to distribute it to the appliances that are in your home. Every major appliance is connected to a fuse. Every fuse has the capacity to handle a certain volume of energy or amp of energy. When an excessive amount of energy, than what it is designed to handle, hits the fuse blows. Because the fuse is blown, power supply gets disconnected and this is how fire hazards resulting from electricity are avoided. Every time a fuse blows you have no other option but to replace it. Licensed electricians experienced in fuse board upgrade add, a circuit breaker too works somewhat the same way although it has no fuse.
When to go for upgrading a fuse box
Go for a fuse box upgrade only if you encounter issues at home or your insurance provider wants it. Otherwise, if the existing one is working fine and smooth then there is simply no need to go for the upgrade. When you upgrade you are most likely to need something more than a new consumer unit or fuse box and that depends on the insulation and wiring in your home electrics. And obviously as you guess it correct, the more comprehensive a project, the higher is the cost. A fuse box upgrade project that also covers your home insulation and wiring definitely involves a lot of money.
The existing fuse box may have turned obsolete with the old construction codes. Those age-old codes obviously do not comply with the latest regulations any more. But when you change that consumer unit, you have to change a lot of things too. You may to bring multiple things up to the current code and not just the consumer unit alone. Thus from the prospect of economics the project becomes les feasible. On the other hand if you do not change the existing consumer unit then you also do not need to change a lot of associated things or items. So, let the status quo be maintained. The choice is totally yours whether you want to embrace safety and security over money. However when one has a genuine crunch of funds then obviously one has to go by practical sense dumping all other things. And that is a completely separate aspect altogether which we need discussing somewhere else.
Changing old fuses may also not prove to be an easy task. However if the challenge can be tackled properly, your home will be much safer from electrical fires and shocks to say the least. If the truth is to be told, a fuse trips quicker than a circuit breaker. That is why you can say consumer units are little safer to use.
Dangers involved in not upgrading your circuit breaker system
Technology is ever improving with time and this is one of the biggest hurdles to face for a consumer unit. This safety mechanism was invented in a bygone era when the society on whole consumed much lesser quantity of electricity. The average home hardly had anything more than a few lights and tiny appliances other than a refrigerator. Modern homes consume far greater amount of electricity thanks to the scores of electronic gadgets that we use every day.
The limited capacity of consumer units to handle electricity proves insufficient. The sharp mismatch between demand and capacity may easily lead to electrical fire in homes. When you upgrade your home electrics to a breaker system, it cuts down the risk of fire resulting from distribution of electricity.
Circuit breakers and their benefits
The absence of fuses is a benefit hat you cannot deny. In fact no one can. When a fuse blows out at an odd hour when the hardware shop in the neighbourhood is closed and there is no new fuse in the closet, then you are in a real soup. Then there is the issue of having a wrong fuse capacity. An electrician in Barnet cautions, when you install a 30 amp fuse in a 20 amp circuit it apparently works fine. But at the same time it brings your home much closer to an electrical fire hazard when it blows. A circuit breaker on the other hand enables you just to flip a switch to get things going again.