Know your way around a fuse box
Fuses are protective devices designed to prevent excessive flows of current from causing damage or starting a fire. They are typically crafted from metals with known, quantifiable electrical conductivity properties and will melt if too much current passes through the connected circuit.
Types of Fuses
In general terms, electrical fuses come in two types: slow-blow fuses and fast-acting fuses. Slow-blow fuses are built specifically only to melt or vaporize when a consistently sustained current overload is present. They are built with coils inside them which prevent them from self-destructing as the result of a one-time power surge.
On the other hand, fast-acting fuses will blow very quickly after the introduction of an excessive amount of current. There is a variant on this type of fuse known as the "very fast-acting fuse." This type will blow almost instantaneously upon receiving a current overload.
Each of these fuse types has very specific applications; it is never safe to use one type of fuse in place of the other. You should always know which type of electronic fuse a particular electrical appliance uses and make sure you get the correct type.
There are a couple other pieces of basic terminology you should know: First, a fuse block is simply a piece of equipment on which fuses are mounted. Second, a fuse holder is a small clip, made of metal, that is usually placed on the rear side of an amp. Fuse holders allow you to replace a blown fuse quickly, easily and safely.
The Role of the Fuse Box
Your home's fuse box is where the electricity being supplied to the house is divided and distributed to individual electrical outlets. Fuse boxes use fuses or circuit breakers to interrupt the flow of current in the event that it exceeds safe levels.
For example, if you have two high-usage appliances plugged into a single electrical outlet, the demand for electricity to power those appliances will be more than the outlet can handle. In such a situation, the circuit will break and the electricity will automatically switch off. To start its flow again, you'll have to reset the broken circuit by replacing the fuse (or flipping the tripped switch in the case of circuit breakers) in the fuse box.
Fuses and fuse boxes can save your home and even your life in the event of an electrical mishap. It's important that you're diligent about maintaining both to ensure your house is a safe place to live.