Turning Off Power at the Fuse Box
To turn off power to the entire house, pull out the main fuse block, which looks like a rectangular block with a handle. It is usually located at the top of the panel. Tug hard and straight out on the handle. Use caution; the metal parts may be hot.Main Fuse Block: Check the Fuses Inside
A main block or 240-volt circuit may have a fuse block that has cartridge fuses inside. Remove an individual cartridge fuse by pulling it out from the holders. Test the fuse and, if necessary, replace it.What If a Fuse Blows Often?
When a fuse blows frequently, it's tempting to replace it with one of a greater amperage. This is dangerous -- house wires could burn up before the fuse blows. Instead, remove some of the load from the circuit.
The wire gauge in the circuit determines how large a fuse or circuit breaker it can have. A 15-amp circuit should have 14-gauge or larger wire; a 20-amp circuit, 12-gauge or larger; and a 30-amp circuit, 10-gauge or larger.
Checking the wire gauge is easy if you have nonmetallic cable running into the box. Examine the sheathing for a stamped or printed identification, which includes the gauge. With armored sheathing or conduit, open a receptacle on the circuit. Check the insulation on the wires for a gauge marking or compare it with a wire of known gauge.
- Electrical Project Planning & Prep
- Your Electrical System
- Basic Electrical Wiring Techniques
- Electrical Repair, Problem Solving & Maintenance
- Switches & Receptacles: How to Replace or Upgrade a Switch or Receptacle
- Lights & Fans: Mounting and Wiring Light Fixtures & Fans
- Planning New Electrical Service
- Cable & Boxes: How to Install Electrical Cable & Boxes
- New Fixtures: How to Install a New Electrical Fixture
- Fans & Heaters: How to Install a Fan or Home Heater
- Household Voice, Data & Security: How to Install Your System
- Outdoor Wiring: How to Install & Plan Outdoor Wiring Projects
- Appliances & Circuits: How to Install Appliances & New Circuits