We know the term “fuse box” is sometimes used colloquially to refer to both a fuse box as well as an electrical panel, but in this case, the difference is a big one. Fuse boxes are what most homes used to be installed with: they were actual boxes with large fuses placed inside them to provide a home with electrical power. Now, we use electrical panel systems that don’t exactly work or look the same way that old fuse boxes did.
So, the answer to your question is yes, if you have a fuse box in your home, then it’s in need of an upgrade. However, even if you’ve got an old electrical panel that you call the “fuse box,” you still might need an upgrade. Our team of licensed electricians in Palatine, IL can help you sort out what needs to be done and what you can skip.
The Difference Between a Fuse Box and a Circuit Breaker
Let’s start with circuit breakers. These systems are pretty classic and you’ll be able to tell pretty quickly if you’ve got a circuit breaker electrical panel at home. These are just flat panels with a lot of switches that are (hopefully) labeled correctly as to which area they pertain to. When a circuit is overloaded, the system simply disconnects the flow of electricity and the switch just has to be reset. These are simple and convenient, and unless your electrical panel is decades old, it probably doesn’t need to be upgraded if you aren’t dealing with any issues.
Fuse boxes are different. If instead of a flat panel, you’ve got cylindrical fuses in your box, then your system operates differently. Fuses contain a filament that will melt when it gets overheated, which ultimately disconnects your overloaded electrical system. That’s what we mean when we say a “fuse is blown,” which is a phrase you’ve probably heard throughout modern-day pop culture.
Fuses are inconvenient and an old way of dealing with electrical systems. If you have a fuse box with real fuses in them, you should upgrade your system to an electrical panel with operating switches.
The Benefits of an Electrical Panel Upgrade
Electric panels aren’t just more convenient to deal with when your home sees a power surge or an overload, they’re also just better in a lot of ways than fuse boxes. Electrical panels can handle higher amperage in a home, which is a big deal when we use so many more electrical devices and appliances these days. A fuse box might still be able to handle higher loads of electricity with larger fuses, but remember that they will literally melt when encountering an overload and that could be a fire hazard.
Basically, electrical panels are a safe, efficient, and effective upgrade for your home if you’ve still got an old fuse box. We highly recommend anyone who has been dealing with power outages or frustrations coming from their home electrical system to call us for an upgrade today.