Are Ceramic Fuses Safe?
If you are moving into an older house, then you may already have plans on how you will modernise the property. As part of this process, it is important to make sure that the house is safe, so you'll need to check its electrical system.
While your home may have had a modern switchboard upgrade in the past that uses a miniature circuit breaker system, some older homes still work on ceramic fuses. These fuses protect an electricity supply though replaceable fuse wires.
If your switchboard is still fuse-based, then you may worry that it isn't safe. What are the possible problems with ceramic fuses?
Fuses Don't Necessarily Protect You
Each ceramic fuse protects the cabled power supply to a specific area. So, for example, one fuse may work on your downstairs lights; another on the ones upstairs. Fuses are primarily there to protect their own supply. When there is a power surge or problem, the fuse wire burns out so that the electricity supply is shut down to the supply area.
However, ceramic fuses don't necessarily give you any protection compared to modern switchboard safety features. These fuses typically simply burn out when they have to deal with too much power. This may not be enough to protect you if you get an electric shock. Modern safety devices are more intelligent and will shut down power more quickly if they detect a problem.
Fuses Don't Necessarily Protect Your Home
Fuses and their modern equivalents both work to keep the power supply in your home safe. Fuses are, however, relatively outdated. Ceramic fuse systems weren't designed to manage modern-day appliances, systems and power needs. This may affect their ability to keep things safe.
Each fuse also only works if it contains the right size of fuse wire. Each ceramic fuse is designed to manage a specific amount of circuit power. To do this, the wire needs to be the right size so that it can blow at the right time if there is a power problem.
If the wire is too thick for the fuse's capacity, then the fuse won't necessarily blow as quickly as it should. If this happens, there is a real danger of an electrical fire.
If you're worried about your electrical system, call a local electrician. They can tell you how you can bring your switchboard up to modern standards to make things safe at home.