How Important Are Thermal Fuses?

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These small electronic components are an essential safety element in circuits. You’ll find that these particular fuses are common in most domestic appliances and any equipment where overheating could cause significant danger. From this alone, it’s not hard to see why they’re generally considered to be a necessity. Let’s delve a little deeper into why these can be so important to your electrical circuits and what you can do if yours is blown.

Are thermal fuses necessary?

Especially in the world of domestic appliances, thermal fuses are vital. In any situation where a fault in the device could lead to potential damage, specifically a fire, a thermal fuse can be used to help to prevent a situation like this from occurring.

In certain electrical devices and pieces of equipment, there is a risk that a malfunction could lead to the temperature inside rising without limit, like in blow dryers or coffee makers for example, which is where thermal fuses are most important. Essentially, if the device produces heat, it’s going to need a thermal fuse.

How to tell if a thermal fuse is blown

In general, the best thing you can do to check a thermal fuse is to test it with a multimeter. Connect the left and right sides of the fuses to the corresponding leads on the multimeter. If the needle in the meter doesn’t move, then there’s a good chance that the fuse has been blown.

What if you don’t have a multimeter?

Multimeters might usually be the most convenient and effective tool but that doesn’t mean that they’re the only option.

Those who don’t have a multimeter but do have a jumper wire might still be able to effectively check a thermal fuse. Just detach the wires and thread them together with a jumper wire and try to start the device. Alternatively, you could use an analog ohmmeter, or even a digital tool to test your fuse. 

Can thermal fuses be replaced with a regular fuse?

Unlike normal fuses, thermal fuses cannot be reset and do not do so automatically, so it’s important to replace them as soon as possible after learning that it has blown. There may be similarities between thermal fuses and regular ones, but in most cases, it’s best to just replace your blown thermal fuse with a new one.

When buying a replacement, or even just a new one for whatever reason, be sure to consider what it is you need, as there are generally a variety of factors that can come into play. Take a look at their maximum voltage, opening temperature and more to avoid any potential issues that will come with having the wrong fuse.

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