Last Updated on October 22, 2023 by Kevin Chen
The average person who does their home repairs will find that switching from a fuse box to a circuit breaker is a complex undertaking. This is because the wiring needs to be worked while it is hot. To put it another way, if you want to turn off the energy coming into the fuse box, you will have to call the utility company and ask them to pull the meter. It is essential that you have a solid knowledge of electricity and that you feel at ease when working with it. It would be wise to ask a certified electrician to work alongside you.
Tools Needed for Panel Replacement
When you are replacing your panel, the following are the tools you will need:
- Gloves Made of Rubber to Provide Protection;
- A Flathead Screwdriver;
- For Cutting Wires, Use Pliers and A Wire Cutter with An Insulated Grip;
- Electrical Tape;
- Conduit Cutter;
- New Breakers for Each Sub-Circuit and The Primary Circuit.
Your needs should guide you in selecting the capacity of the circuit breakers you use. When replacing the old fuse, it is strongly recommended that you use a circuit breaker with an amp rating equal to or higher than the old fuse. Before going out and purchasing breakers, you should first take inventory of the primary and secondary fuses currently installed in your fuse box and record their capacities.
Before You Start
Caution: it is highly recommended that you consult with a certified electrician if unsure of any step or technique. Working with live electricity is required to complete this process; therefore, you should ensure that you are adequately protected. Before moving on to the next step, it is strongly suggested that you familiarize yourself with electricity fundamentals and ensure you fully comprehend each stage.
Replacement of a Fuse Box Panel to a Circuit Breaker Panel in Steps
This is a step-by-step instruction that will show you how to replace your existing fuse box with a circuit breaker box.
Remove All fuses on your Fuse Box
Before you begin taking out all of the fuses in your box, you should check to see that none of the outlets in your home have any electrical appliances or other devices plugged into them. When the power is suddenly switched off, it poses a risk of damage to some electronic devices.
After that, put on some rubber gloves, remove the cover from the fuse panel, and make sure the primary fuse is turned off. After everything is finished, remove all of the fuses, including your main fuse.
Disconnect the Wires
Take off all of the wires that are contained in each sub-fuse. You can directly cut the cable into the building close to where it is attached to the box. Don’t forget to mark each separate line so that tracing and installation go more smoothly.
After removing all of the wires in your sub-circuits, you can now disconnect the primary hot wire. Loosen one of the hot wires without endangering yourself, and then cover it with electrical tape for added protection. Repeating the operation with the other live wire and then with the neutral wire is necessary.
For your safety, be sure that you are wearing thick rubber gloves rated for work with electricity when performing the final phase of the process. You should use extreme caution when working on the live wires because of the potential dangers they present.
Remove the Main Panel Box
Remove the main panel board of the fuse box from the box in a safe manner. After removing the conduit and cable clamps from the panel box, clean the wires in the box and set them aside. To remove the panel box from the wall, first, loosen the screws that are attaching it and then carefully pull it out.
Circuit Breaker Panel Board and Box Installation
Use the screws given to secure the breaker box to the wall. If the existing mounting holes on the new panel do not align with those on the old one, you will need to mark the required holes first and then drill them.
If the existing conduits are a little too lengthy, you should be sure you cut them down to size using the conduit cutter so that they will fit your breaker box.
Connect the wires and connect the main circuit breaker
Once the wires have been inserted into the box, reconnect the cable clamps and the conduit connections. Join the ground wire of the circuit panel board to the neutral wire of the wire spool. After that, connect the two hot wires to the panel board’s two primary connections located at the top of the board.
Make sure that the end of each wire is accessible and exposed before you try to connect any cable to the terminal. This will ensure that the connection is made correctly.
Installing the primary circuit breaker first, followed by turning it off, is necessary to ensure everyone’s safety. After that, join the neutral wire to each sub-breaker in turn.
Install and Test the Sub-breakers
Install all of the necessary sub-breakers, then connect each hot wire to the terminals of the appropriate circuit breakers. After you finish, all the circuit breakers should be turned off, and your main breaker should be turned on. To ensure that all sub-breakers are functioning correctly, switch them on one at a time. If the circuit breaker trips, you should inspect the line for any broken wires and then retrace the connection of the tripped sub-breaker.
If you have sufficient electrical knowledge, you can replace and upgrade the entire panel’s breakers by yourself. If you are starting, it is strongly recommended that you contact a licensed electrician to do the job and have them turn off the main power line connected to your meter.
Pros and Cons of Fuse Breakers
- Low cost, excellent protection
- Improved safety measures
- Available for purchase at any nearby hardware shop
- Easy to tell which fuse has tripped during installation
If the device trips, you are required to replace it because it is a sacrificial one.
Pros and Cons of Circuit Breakers
- More Durable Than Fuses Are Circuit Breakers
- Tolerable To Multiple Electrical Spikes
- Electronic Home Safety In The Modern-Day
- Able To Detect An Improper Arc
- Greater In Cost Than Fuses
Is Having a Fuse Box in My Home Dangerous?
Because you are not in imminent danger, we do not want you to become overly concerned about your fuse box. For many decades, the conventional method by which a home secured its electrical circuits against the effects of electrical overload was the installation of fuse boxes. However, due to the higher voltage typically found in contemporary homes, they present certain risks in terms of electrical safety.
Both the fuse and the breaker perform essentially the same function, which is to protect the electrical system of a home by interrupting the flow of excess voltage. The breaker accomplishes this by tripping a switch and turning off the circuit. On the other hand, the fuse does this by burning up due to the heat, which stops the current from flowing through the circuit.
Note circuit breakers are more reliable, but the primary challenge that fuses face in today’s world is that they must be larger to meet the increased voltage requirements of residences. In today’s homes, there are many more powered appliances and devices and more electrical outlets. For a fuse box to deal with this situation without continually blowing fuses, the fuse boxes will need to be upgraded with increasingly larger fuses. This is the point at which a fuse box becomes a potential source of a fire. Because the circuit is only certified for a certain amount of amps, installing a fuse with a higher amperage rating on a circuit rated for a lower amperage presents a potential safety risk.
Even worse are alterations made to the fuse box without the proper licensing. It is dangerous to perform unlicensed work on an electrical system, but the makeshift repairs that our electricians occasionally find in the fuse boxes are particularly unsettling. After an excessive number of fuses have blown, one of the “patches” that amateurs do is to put a penny in the fuse box. This is one of the more typical fixes. The penny will not catch fire even if it enables an excessive amount of current to pass through it. However, there is a chance that the wires will see fire right now! If you don’t live in an older home (built before the 1990s) and aren’t the original resident, there’s a chance that a potentially hazardous modification like this one is already in your fuse box.
Even while the fuse box you now have might not be full of shoddy repairs and patches, we strongly advise changing to a more modern breaker box panel. As you continue to add more electrical appliances and devices to your home, this will not only make life easier for you, but it will also make your home safer.
If you are familiar with both the positive and negative aspects of a breaker, you will better understand which kind of breaker will best meet your requirements. Learning how to install and upgrade your circuit breaker is crucial, especially in an emergency where no qualified specialist is available to assist you in solving the problem.
At ICRFQ, we manufacture quality fuse, breaker boxes among other electrical components necessary for quality connectivity. Contact us any day and we will supply you with the best quality at affordable price.
If you want to find more Electronic Components Distributors, please check out the following articles:
- The Art of Sourcing: How We Identify and Partner with Top IC Manufacturers - November 24, 2023
- Essential Electronics Test Equipment You Should Know About - November 24, 2023
- How To Finish PCBA Design Process Quickly? - November 24, 2023