What Is an In-Line Fuse and How Does It Work?

Fuses play an important role in protecting electrical devices from damage. All electrical devices are powered by electricity. If they receive too much electricity, though, they may sustain permanent damage.

Fuses are designed to protect electrical devices from overcurrent. When the current exceeds that for which they are rated, fuses will melt, thereby breaking the circuit. While some fuses are installed in dedicated fuse boxes, though, others are installed directly in a circuit. Known as in-line fuses, they serve the same purpose as most other fuses but require a different method of installation.

What Is an In-Line Fuse?

An in-line fuse is a type of circuit-breaking safety device that’s installed directly in the path or line of a circuit. Technically speaking, all fuses are installed in the path of a circuit. Fuses work by allowing a maximum amount of current – as measured in amperage – to travel through them. Excess current will break the fuse. As a result, electrical devices on the circuit will be protected from damage.

Different fuses require different methods of installation. Some of them are installed in fuse boxes. In-line fuses, on the other hand, are installed directly in the path of a circuit without a fuse box.

In-line fuses are commonly used in automobiles, solar panel installations, home entertainment systems and more. They are installed between a power source and one or more electrical devices where the protect those devices from overcurrent-related damage.

How In-Line Fuses Work

In-line fuses typically require a two-piece holder. The holder is installed directly in the path of a circuit. If the circuit consists of a cable, for instance, the cable will be cut. Each piece of the holder will then be installed on an open end of the cable.

With the holder installed, the in-line fuse can be placed inside of it. Most in-line fuse holders feature a screw or snap design. Depending on the type, you can screw or snap the two pieces together after placing the fuse inside of them. If the fuse fails, you can replace it by repeating this process. Fuses are only good for a single overcurrent event. Upon failing, fuses must be replaced. Otherwise, the electrical devices on the circuit won’t work.

In Conclusion

In-line fuses are somewhat self-explanatory. They are regular fuses that, as the name suggests, are installed in the path or line of a circuit.

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