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What is the Difference Between a Fuse and a Circuit Breaker?

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Fuses and circuit breakers are two different ways of protecting against suddenly large overloads of electrical flow. Large power overloads are dangerous, potentially destroying electrical equipment or causing a fire. Both fuses and circuit breakers will automatically block against an incoming surge of electrical power past a certain safety limit. But while they both accomplish the same task, each uses different technology in the way that it stops the flow of electricity. Fuses are typically small objects that plug into a fusebox or other central location. They are an early technology, dating back to the 19th century. Inside the fuse is a small piece of metal, across which the electricity must pass. During normal flow of electricity, the fuse permits the power to pass unobstucted. But during an unsafe overload, the small piece of metal melts, stopping the flow of electricity. When a fuse is tripped, it should be thrown away and replaced with a new fuse. As there are many varities of ... more
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A fuse is for one-time use, while a circuit breaker may be re-set and used repeatedly. Notes: There used to be a time when overcurrent protection for household circuits was primarily provided by fuses. In modern times, however, fuses are obsolete for household wiring - circuit breakers have completely taken their place. Discuss the relative advantages and disadvantages of these two overcurrent protection technologies. more
allaboutcircuits.com
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