Fuses are safety devices that prevent circuits from overheating or catching fire by breaking the electrical current.

Most fuse boxes in houses contain the re-settable sort that just need a switch to be turned back on when the circuit has been tripped. The other sort of fuses found in the home are in electrical appliances or in fused connection units – for example, in the wall next to an oven.


It’s handy to know about fuses, because when an electrical appliance stops working it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s died completely – it might just mean you need to replace the fuse. Standard fuse ratings are 3, 5 or 13 amps. Always replace a fuse with one of the same amp rating. They cost very little to buy in hardware shops, so keep a variety at home for emergencies.

Look for the fuse holder on the reverse side of the plug. Gently prise it open using a flat-headed screwdriver. Remove the fuse and replace it. In some older plugs, the back cover must be removed by unscrewing the large screw near the base of the plug to access the fuse. Screw the cover back on when the new fuse is in place.

Fused connection units contain ceramic fuses. Switch off the unit before using the screwdriver to remove the fuse holder, then change the fuse as described above.

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