Bigger Fuses May Cause Fire

Bigger fuses may cause a fire, or you may continue blowing fuses. Some of the better electric fuse questions I get are:

“If I keep blowing 15 amp fuses, why can’t I just put in a 20 amp fuse and be done with it?”
“There were 30 amp fuses in the panel when I moved in, why can’t I leave them in?”
“Is it dangerous if my extension cord gets warm at the ends?”

Forcing more electricity through a wire (by overloading it) will make the wire get hot and possibly start a fire. The real potential for fire can be at any connection. Heat can be generated wherever connections are loose. When connections are not firmly attached, the electricity must force its way through the weak connection causing that area to get hot (see gfci, fuses, circuits, wiring, breakers, overloading, burning wires for more info).

Tip: Always firmly secure all connections to a device because an improper connection will become a weak link for the flow of electricity. The weak link can become a hot spot causing heat and reducing the flow of electricity.

Tip 2: Do not use the quick connect holes in the back of a receptacle or switch. We track most open circuit problems to one where the installer used quick connects that loosened over time.

When it comes to finding a large fuse pre-existing in a fuse box, do not trust the person before you. What makes you think they had a clue about electricity? If you are capable of removing the cover to the fuse box, you may be able to see if a wire going to that fuse is larger than the rest. Do not get your hopes up if you live in a house built in the 1950s or earlier.

The only solution to blowing fuses is to add more circuits and possibly a new panel. Homes did not have the electrical appliances in the 1950s that we do now. The largest increase in electricity use is in the kitchen with toaster ovens, electric skillets, microwaves, and bread makers.

When in doubt about an electrical problem call in a professional and let them check out your situation. Protection is important with electricity because fires in walls and ceilings can start unnoticed.