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Every home has a service panel that distributes electricity to switches, outlets, and appliances. The service panel is usually found in the basement, garage, or utility area.
When a short or overload shuts down power to a circuit, this is where you can restore the flow. It is also where you will shut down power to a circuit before starting a project or repair.
All service panels are equipped with fuses or circuit breakers that protect the wires in each circuit from overheating and causing a fire. In general, older service panels use fuses, while more modern systems rely on circuit breakers.
Fuses and circuit breakers are safety devices that help prevent overloading of your home electrical system and prevent fires. They stop the electrical current if it exceeds the safe level for some portion of your home electrical system.
Service panels installed before 1965 use fuses to protect each individual circuit. Early fuses were commonly used in 30- and 60-amp service panels. Today, new homes require 100- to 200-amp service panels in order to provide proper protection.
There are several different types of fuses, and picking the right one may seem confusing at first. Each fuse is marked with a code, which provides information about the type of base and the degree of time delay if any.
Instructions for Replacing Fuses:
Once a fuse is blown, it must be unscrewed and thrown away. When replacing fuses in your service panel:
Always make sure that the replacement fuse matches the amperage rating of the circuit.
Never replace a fuse with one that has a larger amperage rating. This is a very dangerous practice and a serious fire hazard.
All newer homes are protected by circuit breakers. Unlike a fuse that must be replaced when it blows, a circuit breaker that has “tripped” can be mechanically reset to resume operations once the problem has been resolved. A tripped breaker is likely the result of too many appliances overloading the circuit and should be fixed immediately.
Instructions for Resetting a Tripped Breaker:
Unplug or turn off appliances in the room.
Find your main breaker panel and open the cover.
Locate the tripped breaker or blown fuse. A tripped circuit breaker will be in the off position or in a middle position between on and off.
To reset the breaker switch it to off position and then back to on. This may restore power to the room. If the problem continues, there may be more serious issues. Contact an electrician to diagnose the problem.
AFCIs are new protective devices that replace standard circuit breakers in the electric service panel. AFCIs provide enhanced protection against additional fire hazards known as arc faults. An arc fault is a dangerous electrical problem caused by damaged, overheated, or stressed electrical wiring or devices. Without AFCIs, arc faults may be hidden from plain view until it is too late.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Healthy Homes Report listed the absence of AFCIs among the primary residential hazards associated with burns and fire-related injuries.
In fact, these devices are so effective that the National Electrical Code has required that they be used to protect almost every circuit in the home since 2008.
Source: Electrical Safety Foundation International
Counterfeit Electrical Products
Every day, counterfeit electrical products are finding their way into our homes, businesses, and public institutions. These fraudulent products pose a serious financial and legal liability to the electrical industry, and they have become a grave safety crisis for our communities - a crisis that requires immediate action. Counterfeit electrical products pose significant safety hazards, and can cause deaths, injuries and substantial property loss in the home and the workplace if left undetected.
The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), in cooperation with the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), has launched Counterfeits Can Kill, a national electrical counterfeit awareness program to help educate the public about the dangers of electrical counterfeit products.
An 8-minute DVD feature titled “Counterfeits Can Kill” has been jointly produced both in English and Spanish versions by ESFI and NEMA. “Counterfeits Can Kill” contains footage of some examples of dangerous counterfeit electrical products, and outlines specific recommendations for manufacturers, distributors, installers, government officials and consumers.
Source: Electrical Safety Foundation International
Jointly produced by ESFI and the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), this 8-minute DVD feature contains footage of some examples of dangerous counterfeit electrical products and outlines specific recommendations for manufacturers, distributors, government officials and consumers.
Watch "Counterfeit Can Kill" DVD here.
Huntsville Electrical Services is a full-service Electrical company. We are in business to provide the customers with the highest levels of professionalism in the electrical contracting industry. We hold Alabama Electrical Contractor’s Licence, which you can check under Randall Rierson name here .
We are located in Huntsville, Alabama in the heart of the North Alabama industrial region. Our facility is conveniently located to provide easy access from Interstate 565. We developed strengths in several electrical areas, including installation, service upgrades, and wiring.