Electrician
Is A Circuit Breaker the Same as A Fuse?
Feb 24, 2022

Is A Circuit Breaker the Same as A Fuse?

Circuit breakers and fuses are both designed to protect electrical circuits when an overload is detected by interrupting the current flow. However, both devices use different mechanisms to disrupt the current flow when excess voltage tries to pass through an electrical circuit.

When selecting the right option for your property, you’ll need to consider the benefits both circuit breakers and fuses can offer.

Let's look at how both devices work as well as their strengths and weaknesses to help you understand the differences between the two devices.

What Is a Circuit Breaker and How Does It Work?

A circuit breaker is a resettable switching device that cuts off the circuit whenever there’s an overcurrent or short circuit. This device can be operated manually or automatically to protect an electrical circuit from damage.

A circuit breaker uses either an electromagnet section or a bi-metal blade to protect a property from an electrical surge. When the power is turned on, a circuit breaker allows electrical current to pass from the bottom terminal to the upper terminal. When an electrical overload is detected, the magnetic force of the solenoid pulls the metal lever in the switching mechanism to break the current. Some circuit breakers use a metal strip which bends when the electrical current reaches unsafe levels to stop the flow of electricity.  

What Is a Fuse and How Does It Work?

A fuse is an electrical safety device made up of a thin strip or strand of metal that is enclosed in a casing. This device melts when there's an electrical current overload and stops the flow of electricity. A fuse is usually plugged into a fuse box, which serves as the central switchboard for the electrical system in a property. When a fuse is blown, it is replaced with a new one. As you can see, a fuse accomplishes the same thing as a circuit breaker but in a different way. A fuse represents a less expensive way of protecting a home and its electrical components from an electrical overload. Besides, the operation of a fuse is simple and straightforward. However, a circuit breaker is more sensitive and responds quicker than fuses.

Basically, the main difference between a circuit breaker and a fuse is in the mode of operation. A circuit breaker can be reset over and over again, while a fuse has to be replaced when it melts.

Are You in Need of Electrical Panel Replacement? Call HomeOps Electric to Get the Job Done

Is your electrical panel over 25 years old? Does your electrical panel make strange sounds? Does your circuit breaker keep tripping? These are indicators that you need electrical panel replacement in your home or business.

At HomeOps Electric, we can help you with all of your electrical needs, including electrical panel replacement, fuse box upgrades, electrical wiring, circuit breaker installation, and many more. Our skilled electricians have a wealth of experience in handling electrical work, so you can count on us to provide you with reliable electrical services.

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