What to Do If an Appliance Continuously Blows a Fuse
Updated January 2024
Most people have had an experience with a blown fuse at one time. If you are a homeowner with older wiring in particular, blown fuses may be a common occurrence. There are many reasons why an appliance continuously blows a fuse in your home. From dealing with a one-time issue to permanently upgrading your system, there are a lot of ways to handle a blown fuse.
What Is a Blown Fuse?
Today most homeowners have had old fuse boxes or fuse panels replaced by more modern electrical panels that contain circuit breakers. The expression “a blown fuse” is used to describe any unexpected electric occurrence that involves loss of power. The words “blown fuse” have numerous meanings, many of which have little to do with actual fuses. A proper fuse consists of a piece of metal in an encased wire that melts in case of overheating. This stops the power surge or fault and destroys the fuse. A destroyed fuse should be replaced with a new one. Today’s circuitry is more likely to result in a tripped circuit breaker, which is an emergency shutoff to prevent your wiring from burning out when overloaded.
Understanding Circuit Breakers
Circuit breakers have internal switches that are tripped by faults and electric surges which temporarily disables the circuit. The circuit breakers often reset and can be switched back on without the need to replace anything.
Below are several things you should do if one of your appliances keeps blowing a fuse:
Check for Overloaded Circuits
Having an electric circuit with many devices that are plugged in and turned on could exceed the circuit’s limit. The circuit breaker’s fuse will automatically shut off at the fuse board to prevent overheating the circuit. You can avoid this problem by using only one socket extension lead per socket. Never plug multiple extension cord expanders into one another. Ensure that your circuit breakers and fuses are correctly rated for your circuits and appliances. If you don’t know how to do that, our electricians at Brennan Electric can advise. Ensure you also unplug any devices you are not using to avoid overloading your circuit.
Relocate the Appliance
If you notice an appliance keeps blowing a fuse, you could try relocating it. However, it’s essential to contact us at Brennan Electric, and our experienced electricians will check the amperage of the fuse connected to the appliance’s circuit. An amp rating signifies the power load a circuit could handle. The electricians will measure the power drawn by the appliance connected to the circuit to calculate the fuse’s actual load. If the total power drawn by the appliance exceeds the maximum load the circuit can handle, you have to relocate that device to another circuit that can handle its load. Remember to keep the appliance unplugged for a while before turning it on again.
Confirm the Right Fuses Are Installed
There are many types of fuses of different sizes, shapes, and configurations. While most fuses look similar, they often have different functions. If a wrong fuse was installed in the fuse panel, it could cause considerable harm. If the panel fuse blows, call an experienced electrician immediately. For your own safety, don’t go near the fuse box. Getting rid of the fuse panel or swapping it for a modern circuit breaker is the wisest thing to do. Contact us at Brennan Electric and our certified electricians will help you get a handle on this problem.
Repair Outdated or Damaged Outlets
Any faulty connections or wiring could cause power surges that lead to a blown fuse or trip a circuit. The problem might not be the connected appliance or the circuit breakers but the faulty or outdated power outlet. For example, most bathrooms are required to have GFI outlets in order to trip at the outlet and not the fuse box when high-load appliances like hair dryers are plugged in. Ensure that any faulty electric outlets in your house are repaired and inspected by a qualified technician. Call us today and schedule a whole-house inspection; our skilled electricians will help you identify any other potential problems that could be causing the fuse to blow. Repairing faulty and outdated electric outlets will ease your mind.
Get Any Damaged Wiring Repaired
Damaged wiring can go unnoticed for a long time as it’s hidden in your house’s walls. There are many ways to know if your home has damaged wring.
Below are ways to detect possible problems with internal wiring in your home:
- Listen for buzzing sounds
- Look out for dimming or flickering lights
- Keep track of any breaker trips
- Feel for vibrating or warm wall outlets
- Smell for odd or burning odors
- Look for any scorching, smoke or discolorations
- Look out for chewed-looking or frayed wiring
If you notice any of the above signs, do not attempt to repair the wiring yourself. Faulty wiring can potentially cause electric fires. Please switch off the power from the meter box and contact us. Our electricians are always on standby to help you with any electric emergencies.
Schedule an Electric Inspection
An electrical inspection is part of the extensive home inspection done when selling or buying a home. For most potential homeowners, this inspection is essential to getting a picture of the house’s functionality and safety. It also ensures that any critical repairs are done before buying the home.
Ensure you schedule an electric inspection:
- Before major house upgrades
- If your house is older with old-fashioned electric work
- If you never had a proper assessment before purchasing it
- After storm or earthquake damages
- If you have reoccurring or sudden electric problems
- When your home insurance company needs it
Fixing a Tripped Fuse
A professional electrician must repair any serious electric fault around your home; don’t attempt to do it yourself. However, some everyday electric maintenance things are not dangerous or complicated, and you could try to do yourself. Don’t forget to switch off and unplug whatever you are working on to avoid live current danger. Start by finding your main fuse box or consumer unit; it’s often in the same place as the electric meter. You will find them in the main hallway in a purpose-built cabinet. The electric meter is where the electricity in your house is controlled from. It’s imperative to know where it is in case you need to turn off the house’s main electricity due to a safety issue.
It is imperative to take safety precautions when you are working with electricity. Ensure that you avoid touching water when working with electric equipment and note warning signs on electric appliances. Switch off the power from the main switch before attempting to handle any naked wires. If unsure or inexperienced, ensure you call an experienced professional to handle any electric issues in your home. When working with electricity, your safety cannot be compromised.
Your household’s safety is important to us. We offer routine safety home inspections, 24/7 electric repairs, electric panel installations, lighting installation, smoke and carbon monoxide detection. Our experienced and highly trained electricians at Brennan Electric are always on standby to help you with any electrical problems you may have. Call us today to schedule a service or consultation appointment for all your electric service needs throughout the greater Puget Sound area. Our Seattle, WA, electricians always get it right the first time.