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Fuses vs Breakers (Things You should Know)


Fuses and breakers are the integral elements used in any electrical wiring. An individual with a non-electric background usually perceives the fuse and breakers as interchangeable terms. We are sure you would have made this mistake, too.

To help you rectify this misconception, we are sharing the differences between fuse and breakers. We hope this article will help.

What are fuses?

Fuses are electrical devices that are inserted between two power terminals. The purpose of a fuse is to save your electrical device from the impact of the current overflow.

A fuse allows the required amount of electricity to flow through it to the device normally. But in case of a power surge, the fuse melts, disconnecting the flow of current, thus saving your device from any damage.

Each device has a different current flowing capacity for normal operations; the quality of the fuse depends on the specific device for which you need the fuse.

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What are breakers?

Breakers are the switches part of the electric circuit, which saves your devices from circuit overloads and the consequences that come along.

While in the on-mode, these switches allow the electricity to pass, but when the power load exceeds, it breaks the circuit by switching off, and your appliances and wiring do not get overheated.

Fuses vs. breakers:

Fuses and breakers are designed to protect the users and their products in case of electricity fluctuations. Here are the differences:

  • Fuses are responsible for a particular device or switch, whereas the breakers can cater to multiple devices, usually covering the entire room.
  • If a fuse breaks because of the excessive current, you cannot use it again. But the same breaker can be connected again to complete the circuit.
  • The response time of a breaker is less in comparison to a fuse
  • A fuse is only helpful in power overloads, whereas a circuit is helpful in power overloads and short-circuiting.
  • Comparing the prices, circuit breakers are more expensive compared to fuses.

Choosing between Fuses and Circuit Breakers:

Now that you are aware of the basic workings of fuses and circuit breakers, you must know that the main role is to protect the electrical circuits from overcurrent and faults. However, understanding the difference will help you make a decision.

Safety comes first, whether you are installing it in your home or office. It is better to consult an electrician for expert advice. Below are some considerations.

  • Circuit breakers are recommended for commercial applications because of their reusability and protection against electrical faults.
  • Fuses are used commonly in home and industrial settings.

Summing up:

Both circuit breakers and fuses are available to help you in case of power overloads. But the coverage that a circuit breaker provides is a lot more than that of a fuse. So, make your choice wisely.