Electrician Job Questions and Answers
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A fuse has a wire that melts with the heat of a short circuit or high current and interrupts the circuit. Once melted, you have to replace it.
A circuit breaker interrupts the current without melting ( a pair of metal sheets with different thermal expansion coefficient, for example) and can be reset.
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in a cable. The first number specifies the gauge. The second
the number of current carrying conductors in the wire - but
remember there's usually an extra ground wire. "14-2" means
14 gauge, two insulated current carrying wires, plus bare ground.
-2 wire usually has a black, white and bare ground wire. Sometimes
the white is red instead for 220V circuits without neutral. In
the latter case, the sheath is usually red too.
-3 wire usually has a black, red, white and bare ground wire.
Usually carrying 220V with neutral.
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risk of causing a fire than breaker panels. This is usually
due to the fuse being loosely screwed in, or the contacts
corroding and heating up over time, or the wrong size fuse
being installed, or the proverbial "replace the fuse with a
Since breakers are more permanently installed, and have better
connection mechanisms, the risk of fire is considerably less.
Fuses are prone to explode under extremely high overload. When
a fuse explodes, the metallic vapor cloud becomes a conducting
path. Result? From complete meltdown of the electrical panel,
melted service wiring, through fires in the electrical
distribution transformer and having your house burn down.
Breakers won't do this.
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