Tips: How to Shut Off Power in Your House

When you need to turn off or shut off power in your house, the first thing to check is the electric service panel. Some people call this simply as the fuse box, but you will learn in this article that some  electric service panels don’t actually have fuses.

If you have just bought the home or don’t know where the electric service panel is, usually it’s in the basement, garage or a utility room. It is also usually easily accessible.

The  electric service panel will be equipped with a main disconnect switch that will take one of three forms, depending on the type of panel. Here are the most common types:

Circuit Breaker Panels

Circuit Panel Breaker – image credit: Amazon

These have no fuses and are the easiest to shut off. Simply open the panel door and flip the main disconnect switch at the top of the vertical row of breakers. It should be marked Main. (The photo above shows the Square D by Schneider Electric HOM2448M100PCVP Homeline 100 Amp 24-Space 48-Circuit Indoor Main Breaker Load Center with Cover sold on Amazon)

Screw-in or Cartridge Fuse Box 

Fuse Box with on/off lever – Buy on Amazon

If your service panel has Edison-type screw-in fuses, look for a lever. If you see it on the side of the panel cover, move it to the Off position. If no lever is there, open the panel door and trip the switch at the top of the fuse board. (Photo above shows the SIEMENS LNF222R 60 Amp, 2 Pole, 240-Volt Fuse Box sold on Amazon)

Pullout Fuse Blocks

GE pullout fuse block

These usually have a square shape and can be easily identified by small front-side handles. To shut off the power, grasp the block handle and pull the entire block out of the panel. To be on the safe side, make sure that your fingers are out of the opening after the block has been removed. To restore power, just press the block back into the slot.



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