The Beginner’s Guide to In-Line Fuses

Multi-contact fuse by Monroe

Fuses are commonly used to protect electrical devices from overcurrent. They consist of tubes with a metal coil or a similar internal component. When exposed to excess current, the internal component will break or melt. Electricity will no longer be able to flow through the “spent” fuse. Therefore, the electrical device with which the fuse is used will be protected from overcurrent. There are in-line fuses, however, that are designed for use directly in circuits.

What Is an In-Line Fuse?

An in-line fuse is essentially a fuse-enclosed connector that’s installed directly in a circuit. In-line fuses consist of a fuse holder. Within the fuse holder is a fuse. They are known as “in-line fuses” because they are installed directly in circuits. In comparison, other fuses may be installed in fuse boxes.

How In-Line Fuses Work

In-line fuses work like most other fuses. They are rated for volts or amps. When exposed to more volts or amps than that for which they are rated, in-line fuses will blow. Electricity can only travel through fuses that are still intact. Blown fuses have a melted or broken interior component, so electricity can’t travel through them.

You can install in-line fuses directly in circuits. A circuit may consist of an electrical wire running from a battery to a device. To protect the device from overcurrent, you can install an in-line fuse directly in the electrical wire.

Overcurrent can cause catastrophic damage to devices. It will expose the devices to heat, which in turn can damage them. Too much heat, in fact, is a fire hazard. Devices can trigger building fires due to overcurrent. In-line fuses and other fuses prevent problems such as these from occurring.

Benefits of In-Line Fuses

When compared to traditional fuses — such as those used in fuse boxes — in-line fuses offer several benefits. They will only affect the circuit or wire in which they are installed. If an in-line fuse blows, only the device or devices to which the wire is connected will lose power. Fuse boxes, on the other hand, may affect multiple circuits.

In-line fuses essentially offer isolation. You can connect them anywhere in a circuit without affecting other circuits.

You can easily replace blown in-line fuses. In-line fuses feature an enclosure, and within this enclosure is a fuse. If an in-line fuse blows, you just need to remove the old fuse from the enclosure and replace it with a new fuse of the same type.

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