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Thread: fuse box mystery

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member dianemahardaiken's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010

    Default fuse box mystery

    As a new home owner I am completely ignorant of all things electrical so any suggestions on wth happened here would be appreciated. Scenario is that my husband was changing a lightbulb in the kitchen the bulb broke while removing and seemed to blow the fuse. So we flipped the switch off on our 100 amp fuse box while he removed the remainder of the blub. All is well, we flip the switch back on and ...nothing. Husband changes the fuses to new ones and still zip, try new ones again and again nada. End of story is that we have no power to half the kitchen and the kids room above. Is it possible the fuse receptacles are shot? they appear to have no damage so ???? We removed the fuses all together because I have a probably irrational fear that this will cause the house to burn to the ground. Any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    New England


    Well, you should be able to reinstall the fuses without worry.

    Are you sure the fuse you replaced was any good? Some are fairly easy to tell, some are not. The only real way to tell is with a meter, or to substitute one that you know worked in one circuit into the one that didn't work. Putting a bigger fuse in than the wires are designed for could cause overheating, but not replacing with the proper size.

    While fuses work fine, they are a pain when one gets blown as opposed to a more modern circuit breaker, which will work many times before needing to be replaced...just flip it all the way off, then back on, and you've restored power once the problem has been resolved.

    On an older house, the wiring and insulation can become brittle. So, even some slight movement could cause the insulation to break off. So if that is the case, a new fuse might trip as soon as you install it if there is now a short. You'll need to do a careful visual inspection and you may see the problem...otherwise, it's time for an electrician. the most likely place is the light fixture you were replacing the bulb in. Take the fuse out while poking around!
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona


    In the first place, breaking a bulb would NOT blow a fuse, which means there is something else at work in your problem. The only way to diagnose the problem is with a proper tester using LIVE circuits, which also means it may not be a DIY task for your husband.

  4. #4


    I don't know why a light wold be on a gfci circuit but who knows how your house was wired . I would go around your house to make sure none of the gfci's are tripped. My last house had a gfci outlet in the garage that fed 3 bathrooms and the outside outlet.

  5. #5
    plumbing contractor worsnup's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    phoenix az


    check for gfci outlets

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