Older fuse boxes may have worked for decades but even the best circuitry wears out. If your home still uses a fuse box, it might be time to switch. Upgrading to a circuit breaker panel offers several benefits—plus, it means you'll never have to replace a blown fuse again!
Can You Replace a Fuse Box with a Circuit Breaker?
Yes! Homeowners can replace their fuse boxes to improve safety, reduce the risk of persistent blown fuses and handle the increased electrical needs of modern life.
Most homes have already replaced outdated fuse boxes with a circuit breaker panel. Fuse boxes were standard technology for much of the 20th century and were designed to handle the electrical loads of one or two appliances, lighting, and most families' needs.
Traditional fuse boxes have lower load capacities than circuit breakers. Most fuse boxes are rated at 60 amperages—less than a third of more modern breaker panels. This results in a few limitations for homes that still use fuse boxes, including:
- Blown fuses – Lower amperage capacity means more blown fuses. Every blown fuse increases the risk of further electrical damage. Fuse boxes also lack more modern safety features, like AFCI protection, which is standard on circuit breaker panels.
- Inadequate load capacity – Older fuses can't handle the higher electrical needs of most modern households. To meet demand, homeowners need to use larger fuses, which increase the risk of fire or personal injury.
- Fuse boxes increase insurance rates – Some home insurance policies have higher premiums on homes that still have fuse boxes. This increased insurance price is due to the elevated fire risk associated with fuse boxes. Today, some insurance providers refuse to cover a home unless the fuse box is replaced.
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Why the Cost to Replace a Fuse Box with a Breaker Panel is Worth It
Replacing an out-of-date fuse box improves your family's safety, reduces the risk of fire, and could lower your home insurance premium and increase your property value. Upgrading to a breaker panel can cost between $1,400 and $4,000. The price varies based on the age and size of your home and the amount of amperage your family needs.
Homeowners can upgrade to 100, 200, or 400-Amp panels. Higher amperages cost more to install and average between $2,000 and $4,000.