Fuse boxes are an older electrical control centre in the house that navigates the flow of electricity. It uses screw-in fuses, which will blow if the incoming voltage is higher than the permitted value. Fuse boxes come in different sizes and varieties, and so do fuses. Although in most modern homes, the fuse box has been replaced with a breaker box. The main disadvantage of fuse boxes compared to breaker boxes is their lower capacity. You should definitely hire an electrician to service your fuse box because they are not as safe as breaker boxes. An average fuse box has an amperage of 60, which is not nearly enough for a 220 outlet. That’s why you need expert help when you want to rewire a fuse box to siphon more power from the grid.
Most electricians will recommend that you replace the fuse box with a breaker box of 100 to 200 amperage. It is a matter of electrical safety more than anything. But if you are not ready to replace the fuse box or it’s impossible to remove from a specific setting, you can ask an expert to add a 220-volt circuit. If they refuse, chances are the conditions for the circuit make it impossible to draw that much power. In such a situation, you have two choices. You can either connect the wires to two free slots out of six, leaving you with four slots. Or you go for the safer option and install a sub-panel to the fuse box.
Let’s see what fuses and fuse boxes are
A fuse is a restrictive tool that protects your house’s electric circuits against any unexpected fluctuations in the electrical current, be it from external or internal sources. A fuse is single-use, and once it is triggered under extreme conditions, it’s burned out. It is different from circuit breakers in this regard since they can be pushed back in like a switch.
A fuse box is a small container, usually made of metal, containing the sets of fuses for your circuit. It connects the internal circuit of your home to the power grid. The modern version is a service panel or consumer unit that hosts all the circuit breakers or fuses. The average amperage for old fuse boxes is 60, while modern solutions enjoy a maximum power input of 200 amps.
What will it take to rewire a fuse box?
Most electricians today may lack the practical knowledge and experience to rewire a fuse box. Don’t be mistaken; it’s not advanced technology. Instead, it has simply faded away due to its less marketable features.
It’s safer to replace the fuse box with a breaker box
With a breaker box, a 220 rewiring job isn’t difficult at all. You can easily install new breakers on the bus bar, which act as logs in a fuse box. They are shaped like “s”, so the wires on the side can connect to each other. Two breakers combined add up to 240 volts.
The breakers are also known as double-pole breakers. You can use them to connect a 220 circuit to the electrical breaker box A breaker can fit two hot wires, usually red and black. The neutral wires are connected to the neutral terminal on the board, while ground wires are connected to a dedicated bus. It would be best to have a three-conductor wire with the four wires since the ground wire isn’t considered here. Your electrician can tell you more about the verities of electrical wires and which one to use for different voltages and demands.
How to Change the Fuse?
Let’s get back to the fuse boxes. Each fuse box has two sets of fuses located at the bottom of the board. One is a 15 amperage fuse, and the other has a limit of 20 amps. The fuses are of the screw-in variety, with a clear case to show the status of each fuse cartridge. These are used to distribute power to more minor demanding circuits. There are also two 35 or 40 amp fuses on the top of the box, supplying power to more draining appliances.
- Open The Lid
Before you touch the fuse box, make sure your shoes are insulated and that you’re standing on a dry floor.
- Locate the Blown Fuse
Fuses have a glass covering that makes it easier for you to locate the one that has been blown. It is probably burned to a crisp and has tainted the glass.
- Remove the Fuse
Using counterclockwise motion, gently unscrew the fuse. Be careful not to break it as the shattered glass might cut you.
- Wiring a fuse box
Turning the new fuse clockwise, screw it in the fuse box. Avoid touching the metallic segment.
- Find Fuse Blocks
You cannot replace the main fuse without finding the fuse block first. Standard fuse boxes hold two fuse blocks, each with a metallic handle.
- Take out the Fuse Blocks
Take out the fuse block by firmly grabbing the metal part. Remove it and put it down somewhere upside down to access the fuses.
- Remove and Test Fuses
Cartridge fuses are located inside the fuse block. You can’t tell which one has been blown with the naked eye (unless you’re an old-school expert electrician), so use an ohmmeter to determine which one should be replaced.
- Change the cartridge fuse
Insert the new cartridge in the fuse block. Make sure the two ends are touching the electrical conductors; otherwise, you won’t get your electricity back online.
- Put the Fuse Blocks back in
Once the cartridges are secured inside the fuse block, carefully insert it back in. it’s time to test the new fuse by turning the power to the box. If any issues are still present in the circuit that you haven’t repaired yet, the fuse might blow yet again.
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