A DIYer’s Guide to the Different Types of Fuses

Are you thinking about tackling a DIY electric project? There are certain electrical tasks that you can do yourself with the proper knowledge.

But before you get into any electrical work, it’s essential to understand the basics. For instance, do you know the different types of fuses?

Every DIYer needs to know how fuses work, so let’s dive in.

What Are Fuses?

Regardless of the type, fuses protect the circuit from overcurrent and overloading. Overcurrent is an excess of amperage or current in an electrical circuit. This can happen when the current exceeds capacity.

Common causes of overcurrent include overloaded circuits or short circuits, arc faults, and ground faults.

What Are the Types of Fuses?

Learning how fuses work and having the right type is the first step to mastering electrical projects. You can find the parts you need at Baypower.com.

How do fuses work? Fuses are mainly divided into AC and DC types.

In AC fuses, the arc extinguishes more easily. AC fuse currents oscillate 50 or 60 times a second. The signal amplitude varies from minimum to maximum.

DC fuses are larger than AC fuses. In DC circuits, when currents go over the limit, the wire melts and disconnects from the power.

DC is always above 0V and has a constant value, but there is a chance of an electric arc. This is why electrodes are farther away.

From this point, there are many subtypes of fuses you need to know.

High-Voltage and Low-Voltage Fuses

High-voltage fuses are for voltages higher than 1000V. High-voltage fuses can get subdivided into expulsion, cartridge type HRC, and liquid type HRC fuses.

Low-voltage fuses work with voltages that are less than 1000V. Additionally, they can get subdivided into rewireable fuses, cartridge (totally enclosed), drop out, striker, and switch fuses.

Cartridge or Enclosed

Cartridge fuses are one of the most common. The fuse is encased in glass and covered by metal caps. Variants include slow-blow and fast-blow fuses.

Some types are covered by ceramic instead, which can withstand higher temperatures.


Automotive fuses are for any automotive systems that run up to 32V, although they may occasionally go up to 42V. This type is color-coded based on the rated current.


These are self-resetting fuses. You can use them even after a short circuit fault. It has a thermoplastic conductive type thermistor.

This type is also called a positive temperature coefficient (PTC) fuse. Resistance increases as the temperature does.


Semiconductor devices are very susceptible to damage from overcurrent. Semiconductor fuses protect these circuits and devices that are particularly sensitive to current spikes.

Over Voltage Suppression

Negative temperature coefficient fuses (NTCs) help to reduce resistance. They protect against current spikes and voltage to prevent damage to circuits.

Drop Out

This type of expulsion fuse contains a lever that pulls back when a fault occurs. This spring-loaded lever needs to be rewired and replaced after a fault.


These reusable fuses are fairly common at home. They have a carrier and socket. When a fuse blows, the carrier needs to be removed and rewired.


Striker fuses have a spring-loaded striker. You can tell when a fuse blows by checking this indicator.

Switch Fuse

Switch fuses blow after a few seconds of overcurrent. Motor control electronics often use switch fuses.


An expulsion type HV HRC fuse is a type of escapable fuse. Gases produced by arcing interrupt the current. Internal arcing protects transformers and feeders.

Interested in Learning More?

This is a basic guide on the different types of fuses out there. If you’re truly interested in learning more about electrical work, don’t stop here!

Check out some of our other articles to keep learning.