Why Are Circuit Breakers Better Than Fuses?

Circuit breakers and fuses are both designed to disrupt the flow of power when current levels exceed safe amounts. However, circuit breakers are safer and easier, offer more protection and don't need to be replaced.

Two Protections

Unlike fuses, which have only a metal strip that melts when power levels get too high, a circuit breaker has two protections. First, if current levels get too high, the circuit breaker will trip, disrupting the flow of electricity. However, if the breaker fails to trip, circuit breakers still contain the little metal strip found in fuses, which will melt and protect your wiring.

No Need to Replace

When a fuse disrupts an electrical flow, it burns out and must be replaced. A breaker does not. When a breaker trips, a homeowner simply has to flip the breaker back on to reestablish the current.

Fire Safety

If a fuse becomes too overloaded, electricity can arch and start a fire. Since a circuit breaker actually turns the flow of electricity off instead of disrupting it, fire is not a risk with circuit breakers.

Circuit Breakers Are Easier

With circuit breakers, you don't have to go through the trouble of finding a replacement fuse. Circuit breakers are turned back on simply by flipping the switch.

No More Guesswork

Unlike fuses, which you have to take out one at a time and check, most circuit breakers have some visual indication, normally a little window that turns orange, that tells you when the circuit has been tripped.