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Advantages & Disadvantages of Circuit Breakers & Fuses

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What’s the difference between a circuit breaker and a fuse? Well, to put it simply, fuses are passive overcurrent protection devices, and Circuit Breakers are active. Circuit breakers protect, detect, and disconnect faulty sources and supply equipment in the event of an overcurrent or short circuit. Fuses are designed to interrupt current when the amount of heat generated is equal to or greater than the melting point of the element material. So what should you choose? Circuit breakers or fuses, that is the question.

How Circuit Breakers and Fuses Work

The biggest difference between circuit breakers and fuses is how long they last. You must replace a fuse when it serves its purpose, but as long as the circuit breaker is on, you can just flip the switch.

Fuses are a piece of metal that melts when too much power passes through it. The fuse is like a circuit breaker for some appliances, preventing any power surges from reaching them. Sounds easy enough, right? Well, once that piece of metal melts you need to replace it before the connection is restored. Homeowners find this too much of a hassle and that’s why breakers are the preferred option over fuses. However, breakers aren’t very practical or effective in all scenarios so fuses will always remain an option for overcurrent protection.

Circuit breakers are one of two types of protection methods against overloading an electrical circuit. They have an external switch and either a metal strip or a magnet inside to sense when too much electricity is flowing. When this happens, the metal strip bends and flips the switch for you, or the magnet becomes strong enough to pull a metal lever that flips the switch.

The difference between a circuit breaker and a fuse is that fuses are passive components with no moving parts, whereas circuit breakers have both a moving part (a metal strip or magnet) and an external switch. Circuit breakers can’t be reset like a fuse, so they need to be replaced.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Circuit Breakers and Fuses

Fuses are less expensive and faster than circuit breakers, but have more moving parts. If the fuse trips for over current, there is a chance that it will not reset automatically after the overcurrent has stopped. A circuit breaker on the other hand typically has a re-set button that will help protect against potential future overcurrents. This can be important for appliances or electronics that are in the same area as the fuse.

Fuses are a good alternative for overcurrent protection. They are cheaper, and react faster than circuit breakers. Fuses contain fewer moving parts than circuit breakers, and are more failsafe because of this. However, fuses do not have as much protection against an electric arc as circuit breakers, which could potentially damage appliances and electronics if they have short circuits or other problems.

If a fuse blows in your home, you would have to replace it with a new one. If a circuit breaker trips, you just need to reset the breaker and the lights come back on. With the number of circuit breakers required in your home, the cost of installation and repair is higher than that of fuses. But if you’re like me, you’ve blown 20+ fuses in your house. If not buying and installing fuses, the savings from resetting circuit breakers over time is significant.

Which One Do You Need?

Fuses are often considered old-fashioned, but they represent an excellent option for overcurrent protection, especially for existing homes that have fuse boxes. However, if you have the choice to install either a breaker box or a fuse box for a new or renovated home, the choice is entirely up to you.

Circuit Breakers from AGM Electrical Supplies

Looking for high quality circuit breakers at wholesale rates? Look no further than AGM Electrical Supplies. We offer a wide range of electrical products and supplies, all at competitive prices. Whether you’re looking for circuit breakers or any other type of electrical product, we’re sure to have what you need. So browse our selection today and find the perfect product for your needs.


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