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Fuses

Unlike a circuit breaker, a fuse needs to be replaced when it gets overloaded, so you should keep extra fuses on hand in the sizes you need.

There are two types of fuses: "P" or "D."

  • P fuses are recommended for general circuits, especially those to appliances that heat but aren't motorized (water heaters, baseboard heaters and stoves).
  • D fuses should only be used for large motorized appliances —dryers, furnaces, refrigerators, freezers and window air conditioners - because they can handle power surges when the appliance motor is turned on.
  • A blown fuse is easy to spot. It will have a melted strip in the center of its glass top, or the glass will look smoky.
  • DO NOT USE CANDLES AS A LIGHT SOURCE when you are changing a fuse. Always use a flashlight if light is needed.
  • To replace a blown fuse, turn off the appliances and lights you were using. Turn off the main switch on the fuse box (it may be a cartridge fuse in a block that must be pulled out completely). Check the fuses to find the blown fuse. Be sure to replace the blown fuse with the proper size, or you may cause a fire. When in doubt, use 15-amp fuses.
  • Never substitute an object, such as a coin or a paper clip, for a fuse.
  • Check fuses regularly and tighten them twice a year to prevent them from overheating.

Signs Your Circuit Breakers and Fuses Could be Failing:

  • Circuit breakers that trip repeatedly or fuses that blow for no apparent reason.
  • Rust in the fuse box, overheating, discolouration in the fuse box or flickering lights.

If you encounter any of these warning signs, contact a qualified electrician to have them inspected. To find a qualified electrician, please visit the Electrical Safety Authority website

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