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HOW TO TEST A FUSE
Fuses are an essential part of any electrical installation. They effectively protect the load and electrical systems against short circuits, overcurrent and overloads. Learn how to check if a fuse is blown and what to do if this happens.

Fuses are used in all electrical circuits – in building installations, electrical systems in vehicles, and electronics and household appliances. It is difficult to imagine effective protection of circuits and loads without breaking a circuit in the event of excessive current. Learn about the most common fuse types and find out how to test a fuse.

In this article you will learn: Different types of fuses and their applications?

Fuses come in different types, which differ in design, performance and purpose. Among the most commonly used are fuses, thermal fuses, residual current devices, automotive fuses, PTC resettable fuses, SMD fuses, industrial and miniature fuses.

Fuses

A fuse is designed to break a circuit in the event of excessive current. Its essential component is a metal wire or strip (in some cases multiple strips of metal). How to check if a fuse is blown? To do so, it is necessary to check the condition of the fuse wire.

The relationship between the magnitude of the current that causes melting and the time needed for it to melt is given by the fuse’s melting time-current characteristics. Depending on response time, fuses can be divided into time delay and fast acting fuses.

The time-current characteristics, showing the correlation between current and time up to the melting of a fuse-element, are shown as bands. How to test a fuse? For this purpose, it is worth using the time-current characteristics and determining the current needed to blow a fuse.

With currents corresponding to the melting time less than 0.005 s (¼ cycle), the fuse limits the short-circuit current. In addition, they also act as disconnectors, since a permanent and visible break in the circuit is created when the cartridge fuse is removed or the fuse is unscrewed.

Low-voltage fuses are divided into general purpose fuses, high rupturing capacity fuses and special purpose fuses. Bi-type fuses consist of single-pole sockets, a bottom cartridge fuse, a head and a cartridge fuse inside. The rated currents of fast (BiWts) and slow acting (BiWtz) fuses are between 6 and 200 A. There are also medium acting and super-fast fuses on the market, such as SIBA 7000140.0.1.

Bu or Bm fuses provide higher rupturing capacity. The basic elements of their construction are jaws and cartridge fuses. They are used in transformer stations and large switchboards. They are used for the effective protection of machines with heavy and frequent start-ups, as well as for the protection of power lines.

The measuring instruments or loads are protected by fuses that conduct currents with intensity ranging from tens of milliamperes to several amperes.

How to test a fuse

Thermal fuses

Thermal fuses are designed to interrupt the circuit if the temperature rises to a dangerous level. They are primarily used to protect loads from damage caused by excessive system temperature.

When thinking about how to test a thermal fuse, keep in mind that they are often used to protect individual components of electrical systems - such as transistors.

Thermal fuses disconnect the circuit by melting a small meltable link, which releases the spring mechanism and separates the contacts. There are many thermal fuses on the market with a very wide range of disconnection temperatures, ranging from 72 to even 257°C. The disconnection temperature of ESKA 770.104 is 104°C.

770.104

Thermal fuses come in a variety of types. The most commonly used are thermal fuses, in which a fusible link (pellet) melts when a specific current passes through it. Bimetal thermal fuses, in which the bimetal bends in a specific direction if heated, disconnecting the current, are also available.

When the fuse cools down, the bimetal will return to its previous state, reconnecting the circuit. Bimetal thermal fuses are used, among others, in electric kettles.

How to test a fuse

How to check if a fuse is blown?

When a fuse blows, it disconnects the circuit. How to test a fuse?

To check if the fuse is blown, use a multimeter. Set the multimeter on continuity mode. It may vary depending on the meter used but look for a rectifier diode symbol. To test the fuse use a multimeter AXIOMET AX-MS8221B.

AX-MS8221B

Plug the measuring leads in the multimeter - the red one into the VΩmA socket, and the black one into the negative (COM socket). How to test a fuse? Place the two test probes on the circuit to be tested.

Regardless of the fuse type, the measurement procedure is the same. So…how to test a fuse? In the case of automotive fuses, there are two blades on the top. Small fuses are measured by applying test probes to its both metal ends. Fuses have special recesses in the front part of the housing, which enable the measurement of circuit continuity.

If the circuit is continuous, the reading obtained should be a low resistance value. When the fuse is blown, the meter will indicate infinite resistance, nothing, or a lead failure with an acoustic and/or light signal. The blown cartridge fuse must be replaced with a new one with the same parameters and time-current characteristics. If other elements were also damaged, the entire fuse must be replaced.

How to test a fuse

How to test a thermal fuse?

How to check if a fuse is blown? The current flow through the thermal fuse should also be verified with a multimeter set on continuity mode. Similarly to fuses, the test probes should also be applied to the two conductive contacts of the fuse, checking whether the measurement value is low. If the meter beeps and/or lights or displays high resistance, the thermal fuse has blown and is not conducting electricity.

Symbol: Description:
7000140.0.1 Fuse; super-fast; ceramic; 100mA; 250V
770.104 Thermal fuse; 10A; 250V; 12mm; 104°C
AX-MS8221B Digital multimeter; LCD 3.5 digits (1999) 15mm; 2.5x/s

OS-CON SERIES CAPACITORS BY PANASONIC
In an effort to miniaturise and increase the performance of electronic devices, in particular their power circuits, manufacturers are constantly looking for new, more efficient and compact electronic components.

CONNECTORS AND RIBBON CABLES BY CONNFLY
CONNFLY is a manufacturer of, above all, high quality connectors designed to be used inside electronic devices – from consumer products to industrial instrumentation.

BULGIN BUCCANEER USB CONNECTORS – RELIABLE QUALITY OF CONNECTION
In the age of constant technological development, demand for necessity goods, including electrical energy, is increasing. Uninterrupted access to power supply is of utmost importance in industrial plants and office buildings.

TRACO POWER IN THE TME OFFER – CONVERTERS YOU CAN RELY ON
The world around us is changing rapidly. An autonomous aircraft controlled by smart devices stuffed with advanced electronic circuits is not a surprise anymore.

MULTIFUNCTIONAL SAFETY RELAYS BY PILZ
In industrial environments, especially on production lines and in production workshops, elements that are responsible for the safety of the workers are extremely important. Among these components are sensors (detecting hazards, such as human presence in a danger zone), as well as relays for emergency stopping of the machines.

OVERVIEW OF KNIPEX PROFESSIONAL TOOLS
Although TME is primarily known as an international distributor of electronic components and subassemblies for industrial automation, you will also find a wide range of mechanical elements and tools in our catalogue. These are products designed for use by professionals, which means they are durable, precise and designed for specific tasks and type of work.

SWITCH DISCONNECTORS
Switch disconnectors are commonly used critical components of electrical systems, allowing the disconnection of electrical equipment for maintenance or repair. In the article we present the construction and operation of switch disconnectors, their basic functional features, and discuss how to find the right product for your application.

MEAN WELL LED DRIVERS
Powering LED lighting requires constant current flowing through the connector of a single LED or a group of them. This requirement has to be fulfilled, no matter the value of the LED threshold voltage, as it’s going to change along with the connector temperature changes.

BRUSHLESS MOTORS – DESIGN & OPERATION
In order to understand the phenomenon of brushless motors, which are rapidly entering the power tool market, it is necessary to understand the principle of operation of the formerly applied commutator motors and learn about the main differences between these two types of motors.

E2E NEXT SERIES OF INDUCTIVE SENSORS FROM OMRON
Inductive sensors are an extraordinarily important group of control system components that is present in every automated industrial plant, but also more and more commonly in households. Thanks to their simple design and a wide array of sizes they guarantee very long and failure-free work, and the ever newer solutions allow you to choose the right sensor for every application.

DYMO RHINO 4200 LABEL MAKER
DYMO is a company with 60 years of experience in manufacturing embossing label markers and printers. The supplier offers the highest quality equipment that makes the work in workplaces, offices, factories, warehouses, workshops, retail outlets, and many other industries simpler. They are alsogreat for households, as they are great for organizing and managing assets.

HAN S CONNECTORS FOR ENERGY STORAGE SYSTEMS AND NEW PRODUCTS FROM HARTING
The HARTING brand is known in global markets as a manufacturer of excellent quality connectors, cables and other solutions for industry, as well as professional and specialist equipment. Much of the company's product range is available directly from TME's warehouses, to the satisfaction of our customers.

Company of the week

Friedrich Lütze GmbH

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ENERGETAB 2021 Poland, Bielsko Biala, 14.9.-16.9.2021


Address Book


Friedrich Lütze GmbH


Analog Devices


ASRock Industrial


NVIDIA


Yamaichi Electronics USA Inc.


PICMG


Laird Thermal Systems


HARTING


Jenoptik


MACH SYSTEMS s.r.o.


A.P.O. - ELMOS v.o.s.


Pico Technology


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Advantech


EBV


SECO S.p.A.


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Digi-Key Electronics


Durakool


KEMET


CODICO


Future Electronics


Foremost Electronics


Littelfuse


Mouser Electronics


RUTRONIK


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TTI, Inc.


ANRITSU


Power Integrations



Calendary
International Engineering Fair, 4.-7.10. 2022, Brno, CZ
electronica 2022, 15.11.-18.11.2022, München, DE
DistribuTECH, 7.2.-9.2.2023, San Diego, CA
AUTOMATICON 2023, 7.3.-9.3.2023, Warsaw, PL
DistribuTECH, 23.1.-25.1.2024, Indianapolis, IN
DistribuTECH, 11.2.-13.2.2025, Dallas, TX

Interesting video
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