Testing and Replacing a Cartridge Fuse
A cartridge fuse is used in older buildings and houses to prevent overcurrent. This means that the fuse is used to prevent the electrical panel overload, due to the flow of excessive amounts of current. A cartridge fuse is different than a circuit breaker, because it cannot cut electricity off when it detects the overload. This is the main reason why the fuses need to be checked and tested from time to time, since they might be tripped and blown. Regular checking and testing of the cartridge fuse might prevent serious electric accidents at home. Here is how you can test the cartridge fuses in your electric panel in a few easy steps:
Preparation is very important when it comes to testing a cartridge fuse, because you will need to take all necessary precaution measures to be safe and avoid electrocution. One of the first things you need to do is go to the panel, turn it off completely, and then begin with the testing. Moreover, you need to use only proper tools and materials, as well as protective gear. You should have a pair of fuse pullers with you, which can be found at any local hardware store, or a store with electrical equipment.
2. Get to Know the Cartridge Fuse
Before you test the fuse, you need to know what it is about. There are two basic types of cartridge fuses available, so it all depends on the age and size of the house. Smaller and newer buildings have the cylindrical fuse which has some sensitive links at its ends, wrapped with copper or any other type of conducting material. Older and larger buildings usually have the knife blade fuses. You can check your electric panel at home and see what type of cartridge you have.
3. Remove the Cartridge Fuse
The next thing you need to do is remove the cartridge fuse from the panel slots. Open the panel and find the cartridge you want to test. Use the fuse puller in the middle part of the cartridge fuse and pull it out of the slot.
4. Test the Cartridge
The next step is about testing the fuse: take the fuse you have removed from the slot on a table and use the meter tester, setting it first to continuity, which means that you need to make sure it is set at the lower mark. Once you have the links of the meter on the sides of the fuse, the meter will show zero if the cartridge fuse works properly.
In the case the fuse is tripped or blown, the meter will read infinite. If the fuse is damaged, you need to replace it, plugging a new one at the slot from where you removed the original one. Always keep in mind that you need to do the replacement of the fuse using the puller, to avoid any injury.