Home Electrical Essentials - Circuit Breakers & Fuses | Best Pick Reports

In the electric service panel, each circuit has a circuit breaker or fuse designed to interrupt the flow of electricity when too much current is drawn through the circuit. Generally, newer panels use circuit breakers, while older panels use fuses. The service panel has one main circuit breaker or fuse to shut off all power to the house in case of extreme emergency. Once a circuit breaker is tripped or a fuse is blown, some of the appliances that caused the problem should be turned off before the circuit is reset. Switching a tripped circuit breaker all the way to the “off” position and then back to the “on” position resets it. Blown fuses must be replaced. If you have a fuse box, you should have spare fuses on hand. Fuses come in different sizes for different circuits. For safety reasons, a burned-out, low-amp fuse should never be replaced with a higher-amp fuse. For example, do not replace a 15-amp fuse with a 30-amp fuse.