Fuse boxes and safety switches

Do you know how to change a fuse? Are you changing fuses quite often? This may be because your home is an older house on the Gold Coast or in Brisbane and still has ceramic fuses. Ceramic fuses are “old school” form of electrical protection for the home.  These are the sort where you run fuse wire around some screws (usually in the dark while holding a torch) before plugging them back into your fuse box. It is important to note that they provide short-circuit and overload protection, limited protection to your property and no protection from electric shocks.


old style fuse box
old style fuse box


How To Replace Fuse Wire

From time to time these to fuses can blow and it is useful to know how to replace the fuse

  1. Switch the power off from the appliance being used and unplug it.
  2. Turn off the power switches inside the fuse box.
  3. Use the correct rated fuse wire for the size of the cable in the circuit it protects.
    • The fuse rating is generally stamped on the outside of each fuse holder or marked on the switchboard near the fuse base.
    • Never use an oversize fuse wire as it can cause damage to the electrical installation wiring or start a fire.
  1. Put the correctly rewired fuse into its holder and turn on the main power switch.

Call A Licensed Electrician If…

  • the fuse blows again with the electrical equipment unplugged the fault may be in another electrical appliance or a fault in the wiring.
  • your fuses short circuit on a regular basis it also probably time to invest in a more modern system.

When should you replace a fuse box or switchboard?

Fuse boxes need to be replaced or upgraded if they are:

  • Unsafe,
  • Not coping with the demands you are placing on them and overheat or frequently trip fuses, or
  • Not able to be extended to cover the demands of new appliances such as air conditioners or pool pumps.
  • You want to increase the safety of your electrical system
  • You want the convenience of circuit breakers
fuses can be replaced with circuit breakers
fuses can be replaced with circuit breakers


If your house is 25 plus years you probably have the old ceramic fuses with fuse wire in the fuse box. If this is the case,  it is definitely time to upgrade your fuse box to one with circuit breakers that protect both people and your property.

Modern circuit breakers are combination safety switches and circuit breakers. Briefly, these protect single circuits from shorts, overloads and electric shocks. This means any problem is confined to that one circuit and will not take out the circuits for the rest of your house.

Remember only safety switches save lives. Circuit breakers and surge protectors protect appliances not people. So by installing a modern fuse box you are saving both yourself and your buildings.

 How long does it take to replace a fuse box?

Fuse boxes, like most things to do with old houses, vary from house to house.

Give us a call on 1300 997 621 and we will come and give a you quote.

With new homes, there are a number of legal requirements regarding location and access of fuse box. The fuse box must less than 2 metres from the ground. It must also be within 2 metres of the front of the house to be readily accessible for meter readers. Be aware that if you need to upgrade your fuse box because of it’s age or safety, and the location does not comply with legal requirements, then the box may need to be relocated. This will all take longer to do.

In all situations, it best to call us for a quote.

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