Understanding Glass & Ceramic Tube Fuses

Glass and ceramic tube fuses play an important role in many different automotive applications. Older model cars generally contain glass or ceramic tube fuses, for example.

Today, glass and ceramic tube fuses are generally used in automotive accessory applications. They can be used to protect consumer electronics and small automotive appliances, for example.

Glass and ceramic tube fuses are particularly useful because they are small, accurate, and reliable. As consumer electronics become smaller and smaller, glass and ceramic tube fuses continue to be the preferred method of protection.

There are two basic types of fuses:

-Fast acting

-Time delay

When replacing a fuse, you need to make sure the type of fuse matches the type of fuse you’re replacing. To determine the type of fuse you’re working with, look at the wire: time delay fuses will generally have a coiled wire, a spring, or a thick element wrapped in wire. Fast-acting fuses have a single strip of metal or strand of wire.

Fuses come in a diverse range of diameters and lengths as well as voltage and amp ratings. The two most common types of user replaceable fuses are the ¼” x 1 ¼” and 5 x 20mm, both of which are available in a variety of voltages and amp ratings. You can find the amp and voltage rating by looking at the stamp under the end cap.

How to determine which fuse you need

When replacing a fuse, you need to make sure the fuse you’re installing is the same as the one you’re replacing. To do that, you need to consider type, voltage, and amp rating.

-To determine what type of fuse you need, look at the fuse you’re replacing and check if it’s a fast-acting fuse (a single strip of metal or strand of wire) or a time delay fuse (a coiled wire or spring)

-To determine the amp and voltage rating of the fuse, you can look in your owner’s manual, where it will say something like, “use a 2 amp, time delay, 250 volt fuse”. Alternatively, you can look under the cap of the fuse you’re currently replacing.

Fuses must meet a specific set of requirements when being selected:

-Fuses used in electronic/electrical applications must be rated at 125 volts or better

-Voltage must match or exceed the fuse being replaced. In general, fuses in household applications use 125 volt fuses, while auto fuses use 12 volts and heavy duty applications use 24 volts

-The amp rating must match that of the original fuse

-The original fuse and replacement fuse must be the same type

Understanding voltage ratings

The right voltage rating ensures that the fuse is operating safely and correctly. All fuses have a voltage rating and that voltage should never be exceeded during application.

However, it is safe to use high voltage fuses for low voltage applications. For example, uses rated for 125 volt applications can safely be used with household applications (110 volt) and automotive applications (12 volt).

Below, you’ll find a selection of popular glass and ceramic fuse sizes.


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