So, you’ve blown a fuse. Now what?
If you’re a new homeowner, then you might be a little confused when you turn on your microwave and your whole kitchen goes dark. Fortunately, it’s not a big deal because you probably just blew a fuse. To blow a fuse isn’t a big deal at all, it just means that you’ve overloaded the circuit and your electrical panel is doing its job by shutting off.
Learning how to fix your electric panel is easy, but it’s important to understand exactly what happened, why, and how you can avoid it. That’s what we’ll discuss in this post, so you can quickly fix your blown fuse next time it happens.
Why Did You Blow a Fuse?
There are a few different reasons why your fuse blows, the most common being an overloaded circuit. Your house has several different electrical circuits that control a certain subsect of lights and appliances, usually divided by room. When you have too many things operating at once, you give the circuit more of an electrical load than it can hold.
This is why a fuse usually blows when you turn something on – you have a threshold of current that you can’t cross and your breaker is there as a defense to keep you from starting an electrical fire. So, although it can be annoying to blow a fuse, it’s doing an important job to protect your home.
Understanding Your Electric Panel
When the lights and appliances shut off, you’ll have to find your electric panel to diagnose whether you’ve actually blown a fuse or just tripped the breaker. In older houses, you might still be using fuses. If this is the case, you’ll have to replace the burnt fuse with a new one.
Most homes now are controlled by a circuit breaker, which is a panel of switches that controls the different circuits in your house. When you overload a circuit, the breaker automatically flips off and that’s why everything turns off. You should be able to locate it in a utility room, near a back door, or in your basement.
How to Fix a Blown Fuse
Fixing a blown fuse is incredibly easy. If you have a fuse box, you’ll need to go to a hardware store and buy new fuses, but a circuit breaker makes it so that you really just need to flip a switch to get everything back on.
First, make sure the appliances and lights that turned off are all unplugged, then go search for your circuit breaker, checking in the places mentioned above. A broken fuse will look foggy and the metal inside might be melted, while a circuit breaker switch will just be flipped the opposite way of the rest of the switches, in the off position.
Replace the fuse or flip the switch back over and go turn your lights and appliances on one by one. Be careful not to overload your circuits too much, or you’ll have to repeat this process over and over.
Know When to Call the Pros
When you blow a fuse, there’s no need to panic, because you now know how to fix it in a few quick steps. If it keeps going off and you don’t think you’re overloading the circuit, it might be better to call the pros. At White Electric, we provide electrical services, so if you need a new circuit, a panel upgrade, or other repairs, we can help you.
Contact us today to find out more about our services.