Learn more about your fuses and circuit breakers
You’ll find fuses and circuit breakers in the switchboard in your property. They play a vital role in protecting your electrical wiring system. The switchboard has fuses and circuit breakers that correspond to a different area of wiring in your property, known as a circuit. The fuse or circuit breaker is a safety mechanism when an electrical fault occurs the fuse will blow or the circuit breaker will trip. This breaks the circuit and the power to that area of the property will be shut off, preventing overloading and fires.
Fuses and circuit breakers do the same job, the main difference is that circuit breakers can be reset and once a fuse blows it needs to be replaced.
Important information about replacing a fuse
- Whenever you replace a fuse you need to make sure you turn off the mains power switch as well as all appliances and lights on that fuse’s circuit.
- Always replace a fuse with the correct current rating. A fuse with too high a current rating will cause excessive current flow through the circuit which can cause overheating, damaged appliances or even fire.
- If a fuse keeps blowing you should always call a licensed electrician.
Circuit breakers are safer than fuses.
It’s a good idea to have a licensed electrician replace the fuses in your switchboard with plug-in circuit breakers of the same rating.
How to check your circuit breaker
If your power goes off because your circuit breaker has tripped, look for the lever in the 'off' position, or where the button has popped out.
To restore power:
- Switch off lights and unplug all appliances on the faulty circuit.
- Push the operating lever to the ‘on’ position, or push in the button on the circuit breaker.
- If the circuit breaker continues to trip, call a licensed electrician.