Fuses blow and sparks appear when using my home's wiring circuits


I have recently had issues with different electrical appliances ...

Having the outlets very low down must put a strain on the leads where they enter the plug. Other than that any suspected problems with the electrical supply need to be discussed with the supplier.

/ light bulb ...

Incandescent bulbs tend to fail when there is problems with the supply voltage (i.e. surges) - that is something your electricity supply should be able to help with. Another cause is if the lamp housing/fixture gets too hot.

However, nowadays you should be using CFL or LED lamps. LEDs in particular need adequate airflow to keep them cool - many older bathroom light fittings don't allow for this as they are designed to keep out steamy humid air (and fingers)

/ bathroom wiring packing up.

That sounds very alarming. Ideally there shouldn't be much wiring in a bathroom. A light, maybe an electric shower and a towel rail, maybe a shaver outlet. Given the age and...

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When all the lights and appliances along a single circuit go dark at the same time, it is almost always because the circuit breaker or fuse controlling that circuit has tripped or burned out. In older homes, the electrical service panel will have a group of fuses that control and protect the circuits, but it is more likely that your home has an electrical service panel with a series of lever-operated circuit breakers that control the circuits. Whatever the nature of your service panel, the... breakers or fuses serve to automatically shut off power to the circuit wires if something goes wrong. In the case of circuit breakers, the immediate answer is to find the breaker that has "tripped" and reset the lever to the ON position. With a fuse, a metal filament inside the fuse has burned through, and you'll need to replace the fuse with a new one.

But it is important that you understand why the breaker has tripped or the fuse has blown to avoid having it happen again. In rare...

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Hello All,

I'm new and I have a question to ask about the fuses in my apt. Not making any repairs, but my superintendent is kind of useless/unavailable so I figure the more I know myself, the better, so that I can be prepared and prevent needing to call him as much as possible.

I live in a pre-war building. In my apartment unit, there is a small fuse box with 2 sockets to use Amp plug fuses. Apparently, the main fuse box is in the basement of the building and I do not have access to it, only the super does. Whenever a fuse blows, I have to call him (if he answers the phone) and I guess he has to replace the fuse in the main box. When I first moved in, there was a 30A TL type fuse and a 20A TL type fuse screwed into the box in my unit, so of course, these are the fuses I stocked up on. I understand space heaters are "electrically expensive" so to speak; however, I have needed to use one this winter. After blowing the fuse MULTIPLE times, I have since learned that the...

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HOME Sitemap

Here I intend to give clear information on a number of basic house wiring issues that may be unfamiliar or confusing to the do-it-yourselfer. These certainly don't cover everything you might want to know. In what I say I am careful to qualify my statements if they have exceptions, using words like "usually" or "typically." If a practice is specified by the National Electrical Code I will tend to indicate this by "is to be," "should," or "must," and I won't talk that way if the matter is just common practice.

For problems with existing wiring, circuits, and connections, be sure to see my Main page. For issues about some particular appliances see this. To understand electrical terms see the Glossary. For wire ampacity and conduit capacity see SparkyJohn.

15-amp versus 20-amp
Main panel

Romex cables. Your wiring could be done with a conduit system or metal-sheathed cables, but in most places...

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A few months ago the fuse blew on the dryer's circuit in the basement (the dryer is the only appliance on the circuit). I replaced both fuses (there are two on the circuit, one for each lead). A week later, another fuse blew.

Assuming the dryer was to blame (it was about 40 years old) I replaced the dryer.

Now the fuse has blown again. Each time a fuse has blown the dryer was in use, suggesting that the circuit is overloaded.

They are 30 amp fuses, which is the correct amperage according to the dryer manual and what's on the electrical box. The fuses are probably pretty old (the replacements I found just lying on top of the electrical box in a sealed blister pack and had probably been purchased years ago), but I didn't think fuses would expire.

What could be going...

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Post 13

We just bought a house and all we have done is replace the receptacles with new receptacles. We bought 15 amp receptacles which is what were there originally. However, these new receptacles blew four fuses. What might have caused that?

Post 12

High resistance does not blow fuses, low resistance does. Things that heat up like dryers and toasters have very low resistance, allowing a lot of current to flow. A short in the wiring is essentially 0 resistance, not high resistance, and blows the fuse.

Post 11

can i use a 30a fuse when the one that blew was 15?

Post 10

I am a little concerned about last...

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Normally, the ampacity rating of a conductor is a circuit design limit never to be intentionally exceeded, but there is an application where ampacity exceedence is expected: in the case of fuses.

A fuse is nothing more than a short length of wire designed to melt and separate in the event of excessive current. Fuses are always connected in series with the component(s) to be protected from overcurrent, so that when the fuse blows (opens) it will open the entire circuit and stop current through the component(s). A fuse connected in one branch of a parallel circuit, of course, would not affect current through any of the other branches.

Normally, the thin piece of fuse wire is contained within a safety sheath to minimize hazards of arc blast if the wire burns open with violent force, as can happen in the case of severe overcurrents. In the case of small automotive fuses, the sheath is transparent so that the fusible element can be visually inspected. Residential wiring...

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Home Built Fuse Box Description

Home built fuse box

dayton ohio wdtn these boxes installed between 50 s and 80 s typically home owners insurance won t cover those because they are fire hazards said alexander both electricians and firefighters agree the cost to replace fuse channel master showcased its stream media player a 99 device that offers fuses and circuit breakers are safety valves built into electrical circuits power to that circuit or to the entire fuse box if these cartridge fuses control the main lighting circuits in the home normally carry up to 15 s although i recently had my home rewired and a new type fuse box installed probably not called a fuse box these a modern consumer unit will have built in protection for the power circuits in the form of a residual current device rcd

Home built fuse box

a.very the polaris fuse waterproof jacket is a stylish piece of kit with some well thought out detailing and a good level of weatherproofing but it is let down...

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Why is my Circuit Breaker Box Humming?

A loud buzzing or humming sound coming from a circuit breaker should raise a red flag and requires inspection. Some likely causes of loud humming noises in the breaker box are:

A breaker that is carrying a significant load but is failing to “trip” or shut off may make a loud sound and should be repaired or replaced in order to prevent an overheated circuit.

Sparking or a fizzling may be the result of a connection problem. If this is the case then the wire needs to be tightened or the entire circuit breaker could need replaced.

A circuit breaker that makes a humming noise as soon as it is turned on then quickly shuts off is typically the result of a circuit problem. Circuit breaker problems like this stem from the electrical circuit itself, so the circuit breaker may not have to be replaced. The individual circuit might just need to be repaired.

Anything unusual like a loud noise, mysterious humming in...

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How To Replace a Fuse

Located inside or outside of your home is a fuse box that contains a fuse for each of your home's circuits. A fuse provides protection for each of your electrical circuits by stopping the flow of current if an overload or fault occurs. When an electrical short occurs or the load on your circuit becomes too great, the fuse on that circuit burns out and breaks the circuit; this is what is referred to as a "blown fuse." If your home uses circuit breakers instead of fuses, click here.

Before electricity can be restored, the fuse must be replaced with a new fuse. However, even before you replace the fuse, you must take steps to ensure that it is safe to do so. Turn off or unplug all of the devices that are plugged into the circuit. Make certain that no dangerous condition exists before restoring power.

Replace the fuse with a fuse that is of the proper rating for the circuit. For instance, if the circuit is rated for 15 amps, use a 15 amp...

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The Circuit Detective's Diagnostic Tree

If you have reached this page without beginning at the Start of the diagnostic tree, you may do better to start there.

Several electrical items in your home are not working. You have a common troubleshooting problem and the one with the most possibilities. Let's try to narrow things down quickly. See if any of the following sounds like your situation.

Though you don't think a circuit breaker tripped, a recent heavy load (vacuum, hairdryer, rug shampooer, microwave, carpenter's saw) or a recent burning-out light bulb could do so. Or you may have forgotten a separate subpanel with breakers in the other end of the house behind a picture. Or you may not realize that many brands of breakers do not look to be in a Tripped position when they have in fact tripped. And you can't rely on the labeling in the panel to point you to the breaker that really has to do with your outage.

Consider also that an outage in homes built or...

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