Circuit breaker vs Fuse: What is the difference ?

Anyone who installs electrical circuits must protect electrical equipment and users. Therefore, they have to decide whether to use a fuse or a circuit breaker. Ideally, every family will have these two. The difference may be where and when it is used. Homeowners occasionally buy fuses to replace damaged fuses on certain equipment.

1. There are many differences between these two electronic devices.

These differences include cost, application, operating principles, and reusability. However, as explained in this article, the main difference between these devices lies in the application and working principle.

2. What is a circuit breaker and how does it work?

A circuit breaker is an electrical switch used to prevent equipment-usually to prevent power overloads and short circuits in multiple equipment and households. When connected and placed in the “on” position, it will allow current to pass normally. Depending on the jurisdiction, circuit breakers are necessary or necessary for wiring homes and businesses, and circuit breakers usually include multiple types.

Usually, the circuit breaker is installed to meet the needs of a specific room, such as the kitchen, or all the lighting needs in the room. A system usually provides services for multiple devices at the same time. When the power load exceeds the requirement or the connected equipment or line is short-circuited, the equipment will trip and disconnect the power supply.

Ideally, the biometric strip can be mechanically connected to the wire, so that it will overheat and twist, thereby disconnecting the power source. Use two straps. When the thinner strap is short circuit or load, bend and turn the switch to the off position to disconnect the power. These two wiring boards are normally connected under normal power supply. Others use electromagnetic connections. When the power supply is surplus or short-circuited, the circuit trips and opens the switch. Trip means that it will automatically switch to the closed position.

The circuit breaker also has a rating. Small and low-rated protect personal equipment, while large and high-rated protect homes.

3. What is a fuse and how does it work?

The fuse is a device connected to the positive pole between the two power terminals to provide power to the electrical device. It just consists of a single wire, and it can easily melt if something goes wrong. Ideally, the fuse should fuse the power supply to avoid damage to the device. This happens when the power supply exceeds the requirements of the equipment. Obviously, a fuse will allow power or current to pass through the wire normally until an overload or excessive power source-called a current or power surge-occurs.

Therefore, the fuse is made according to specific power and equipment. However, they are in standard current ratings of 3 A, 5 A and 13 A. The fuse used on the device should be higher than the current required by the device. For example, a device should use a 5a fuse if it works at 3A. This provides better protection because the fuse will be at more than 5A current instead of 3A.

The filament is wrapped in a glass material or ceramic or metal casing. Then install in the shell. The central fuse can be used to protect the entire family. In this case, it is placed in a central fuse box, from where all the household wires are sent out to provide electricity to the household.

Once the fuse is blown, it cannot be used again because the wire that passes the current through the fuse has melted and broken. It needs to be replaced. It is necessary to replace a fuse with an appropriate rating according to the equipment and power requirements, otherwise replacing a fuse with a rating higher than the manufacturer’s expectation or design will cause overheating. This may cause a fire.

4. How do circuit breakers and fuses differ?

The main difference between a fuse and a circuit breaker is that the function of the circuit breaker is to mechanically disconnect the connection whenever the electrical load exceeds the supply. This helps prevent fires and other problems on connected equipment. On the other hand, a fuse prevents damage to certain equipment in case the incoming current exceeds the requirement.


When the incoming current exceeds the equipment requirements, the fuse is blown, and then it can no longer be used. However, the function of the circuit breaker is to trip and disconnect the connection mechanically. It can simply be restarted, so it can be reused separately.

Working principle

When the circuit breaker electromagnetically cuts the connection, the electrical and thermal properties of the conductive material used in the fuse will be damaged when the current exceeds the requirement.

Operation mode

Circuit breakers are manually operated, whereas fuses operate automatically, although they are mechanical, since they must also be repaired.

Response time

The response time of the fuse is 0.002 seconds, and the response time of the circuit breaker is 0.02 ~ 0.05 seconds.

Switching action

Although circuit breakers can be used for on/OFF switches, fuses cannot.


Although fuses only prevent equipment and household power from overloading, circuit breakers protect household and equipment power from overloading and short-circuiting. This is also an important consideration when choosing fuses and circuit breakers.

Breaking capacity

The breaking capacity of the fuse is lower than that of the circuit breaker.


Circuit breakers are used to protect the entire family rather than individual electronic devices. The fuse protects a single device, not an entire family or apartment. This is also important when deciding whether it is a fuse box or a circuit breaker.

Cost part

Circuit breakers are more expensive than fuses. In fact, the cost of fuses is much lower than that of circuit breakers. When deciding whether it is a circuit breaker or a fuse, cost is one of the considerations.


The main difference between a fuse and a circuit breaker is that the fuse cannot be reused, while the circuit breaker can be used repeatedly. Circuit breakers are used to protect homes and equipment from overload and short-circuit, while fuses only protect equipment and homes from overload.


More Posts

Send Us A Message

Alion's Digital Time Switch used for Automated Lighting
Time Switch Guide

How to Use and Install a Digital Timer for Light

Ever wish your lights could think for themselves? You know, …

Time Switch Guide

Mechanical vs. Digital Timer Switches: A Comparative Guid

Timer switches are tools you can’t do without if you …

digital timer switch
Time Switch Guide

The Ultimate Guide to Digital Timer Switches in 2024

The 21st century is an era of technological marvels that …

Astronomical Timer Switch applied in Oil and Gas Production Facility
Time Switch Guide

Astronomical Timer Switch: A Comprehensive Guide

Have you ever wondered how those big industrial facilities and …

Digital Timer Switch applied for Industrial Facilities
Time Switch Guide

Digital Timer Switch Working and Application

In our modern, fast-paced lives, we’re always looking for ways …

digital timer switchmanufacturers
Time Switch Guide

Top 10 Best Astronomical Timer Switch Manufacturers of 2024

Lighting control technology has come a long way in recent …