Are you looking for a residential electrician in Hagerstown MD or surrounding areas? Need help with breaker boxes or meter bases?
Your home's electrical panel divides all the electrical power into different circuits, with a series of circuit breakers and fuses that allow you to control all the electrical components of your home.
1. Older panels and circuit breakers
If your home has older panels and circuit breakers like FPE or Zinsco it is time to upgrade. These panels consistently fail to do there job today and are the cause of hundreds of home fires today. When there is a fault on a normal circuit breaker it trips the breaker and kills the voltage. FPE and Zinsco circuit breakers and know to not trip and acually feed the fault causing electrical arcing and fires. If your home has these panels, they need to be replaced now.
2. Older Homes with Fuse Type Panels
Fuses essentially perform the same function and a circuit breaker. They prevent a short circuit or fault with a one time use fuse, melting the internal rated fuse to separate the circuit. These fuses are a fire hazard and many insurance companies will refuse to insure homes that still use these style fuses. They are not as efficient as the modern day circuit breaker and can easily confuse the homeowner with what rating amperage to put in when there is a blown fuse. You may have had a blown fuse recently and you put in the same size fuse that was in there to get the lights back on. Not knowing that 10 years ago the last time the fuse tripped the last homeowner did not have the correct fuse and put the next size up in. This is a fire hazard, a 15 amp fuse is meant for a 14 gauge wire ONLY!!! Putting a 30Amp fuse on a 14 gauge wire circuit is making the wire on that circuit stronger than the fuse. This bypasses the purpose of the fuse and makes the fuse the weaker link. Now when there is a fault on that circuit the wire will melt causing a fire before the fuse will melt and trip. If you have a home with fuse type panels we highly recommend to have it replaced and make sure you have working smoke detectors.