Should Fuse Boxes Be Replaced?

4 Feb 2021 Licensed Electrician

Many older homes have outdated electrical systems that are no longer installed in new homes due to updated electrical codes and standards. While some of these are extremely dangerous and should be replaced as soon as possible, others are simply outdated and can continue to be used. At Expert Electric, one of the questions we frequently get asked is whether or not fuse boxes should be replaced. Our wealth of experience with breakers and fuses has equipped us to help our customers decide the best course of action for their homes’ electrical systems.

What are Electrical Fuses?

Fuses are small electrical safety devices that stop circuits from overloading. When too much current flows through a fuse connected to a circuit, the fuse burns out rather than allowing the circuit to run too hot and cause an electrical fire. Many older homes have fuse boxes that feed the house’s circuits, and the fuses in these boxes can be replaced if they blow out. Fuse boxes were replaced with breaker boxes as part of building standards for new construction decades ago, so most homes with fuse boxes tend to be at least 50 years old.

Should Fuses be Replace with Breakers?

While fuse boxes are not inherently dangerous, they can be indicative of other outdated electrical systems that should be replaced. Houses with fuse boxes are older and tend to have other systems that are unsafe and should be replaced, so make sure that you have an electrician inspect your home’s electrical system if you have a fuse box instead of a breaker box. Some of the reasons that it is often best to replace fuse boxes include:

Most Fuse Boxes are Old

Since fuse boxes have not been a standard of installation for new electrical systems for many years, most of them tend to be exceptionally old. Over time, electrical connections can wear down and cause safety concerns and inefficient energy consumption.

Circuit Breakers Offer More Safety Features

Many types of circuit breakers offer advancements in electrical safety, such as arc fault protection, that fuses cannot. For this reason, it is worth upgrading to a breaker box.

Fuses are Less Convenient than Breakers

When a fuse blows out, it needs to be replaced with the same type of fuse. A collection of fuses needs to be kept on hand and easily accessible. On the other hand, breakers only need to be switched back into the “on” position when a circuit blows.

Saving Money

Although they are not that expensive, fuses cost money every time they blow out. The biggest way that circuit breakers save money over fuse boxes is through insurance premiums. Almost every home insurance company will increase the premium that you pay if your home has a fuse box in it.

If you would like to learn more about whether your fuse box should be replaced with a breaker box, or to find out about our residential electrical services, please contact the team at Expert Electric so we can help you get started.