How to Find the Fuse Box or Circuit Breaker Box

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Find the Fuse Box or Circuit Breaker Box
Find the Fuse Box or Circuit Breaker Box

How to Find the Fuse Box or Circuit Breaker Box. The circuit breaker box or fuse box is the site that receives your main electrical services and regulates the flow of electricity into different parts of the house. If you're performing electrical maintenance or experience a loss of electrical power in only one part of the house, you'll need to find the circuit breakers or fuse box.

Check the garage first. If service is fed from above ground, follow the wires from the pole on the street to the box. The fuse box or circuit breaker box will be a metal or plastic box attached to the wall, about the size of a shoebox, usually with a large cable or a piece of pipe running out of the top or bottom.

Look for the breaker box (fuse box) in the basement next, if you didn't find it in the garage.

Ask a neighbor where his or her fuse box is located if the box is neither in the garage or basement, or if you are in an apartment building.

Open the box and look inside for the fuses or circuit breakers. The most typical fuses are screw-type fuses. They look like bottle caps and usually have an amp rating written on the side. Do not remove them. Breakers are small slide-switches labeled "ON" and "OFF."

Tips & Warnings

  • Circuit breakers and fuses guard against fires and electrocution by tripping (breakers) or blowing (fuses) to cut off the power supply if wires are in danger of overheating.
  • Older houses usually have fuse boxes instead of circuit breakers.
  • Working with an electrical system is potentially dangerous. If you are not sure of your abilities, call an electrician.
  • Never stick a penny behind a fuse and screw it back in. This will disable the fuse's safety feature by not allowing it to explode when it needs to.
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