What is the Difference Between a Circuit Breaker & a Fuse?

When it comes to electrical at your commercial or industrial facility, it’s important to understand the difference between the circuit breaker and a fuse. Many times, building owners don’t know what’s wrong with their electrical systems when something isn’t working in their business. At Muth Electric, we specialize in full electrical services for commercial and industrial clients. We want to make sure that everyone understands the difference, so they may take the necessary precautions before we arrive.

A Circuit Breaker

A circuit breaker is found in the building’s breaker box. Circuit breakers are meant to protect an electrical circuit from damage caused by overcurrent/overload or short circuit, which means it is designed to trip or shut off at predetermined amperage loads or faults. This will prevent the flow of current to the specific electrical line or circuit in case of an emergency. Circuit breakers can provide ground fault circuit interruption (GFCI) or Arc Fault protection to meet requirements by local codes along with an easy ready off/on.

A Fuse

A fuse will provide protection when too much current flows through it. A fuse is meant to protect equipment by melting an element inside glass or ceramic casing and opening the flow of current. When this happens, the fuse would have to be replaced. Fuses do not meet the requirement if GFCI or Arc Flash protections are required by electric codes.

What to Do If There is a Short Circuit or Power Overload?

Whether you’re located in a commercial or industrial facility, it is best advised to contact a professional electrical contractor like Muth Electric to come and inspect the problem. Leave the power off and have the wiring or equipment inspected before installing another fuse. If you leave the power on, it could cause an arc flash with the possibility of getting hurt if there is an issue.  If you find any problems with your circuit breakers tripping or a blown fuse, contact Muth Electric at 605-996-3983 today or visit us online for more information!