There are thousands of cartridge fuses available today and they come in many shapes, sizes and amperages. There are the well known fuses that are used in the home. They include mini fuses which are available in four ratings and are the smaller version of the plug top fuse. You will find them in clocks, shaver sockets, central heating programmers and other similar products. The most popular are the plug top fuses which are used in almost every plug-in electrical appliance.
The glass ranges of quick acting, time delay and anti surge fuses are used extensively in sensitive electronic equipment. The continental bottle fuses are used in the more robust control panels and industrial machinery. The heavy duty range of barrel fuses with side fixed lugs and centre fixed lugs are for protecting wiring circuits in buildings. The motor rated fused links are for starting and protecting machinery and equipment in commercial and industrial properties. This includes a wide range of buildings like office blocks, factories, warehouses and sometimes the home. (continued below)
Link fuses monitor electrical circuits and melt causing open circuit as soon as a predetermined temperature is passed. It is an essential safety device designed to protect wiring circuits and printed circuit boards during short circuiting or overloading.
When a fuse blows it will instantly stop the current flowing to prevent damage or any further damage occurring. It is important to remember that cartridge fuses blow for a reason. They blow for safety reasons, so they should never be replaced without first testing and inspecting the circuits they are protecting. Always consult a qualified electrician if you are in any doubt as to the reason a fuse has blown.
In many instances fuses have been replaced by circuit breakers, but they are still very widely used. Although most people will only use small plug top fuses in home appliances, there are many other types of fuses in use. In fact plug top fuses are only the tip of a very large iceberg because fuse links of one kind or another are used in almost every electrical circuit.
It is not always practical to use circuit breakers because of their physical size and rating. Therefore small and medium size fuses are used in appliances, computer equipment, machinery and control panels. There are also many older electrical installations in which some of the larger industrial fuses are used. These range from 60A to 315A and are used in single and three phase distribution units and switches for the protection of final sub-circuits.