This page covers protection devices.
Various devices provide protection against excessive and potentially dangerous or damaging currents, voltages or temperatures. Some are single-use and must be replaced when blown but others are self-resetting.
- Protection devices protect you against fire and malfunction and may limit collateral damage following an initial fault. They must always be replaced by a device with a similar (ideally, identical) rating, and must never be bypassed or deactivated.
The commonest and most familiar protection device is the fuse, which prevents an excessive and potentially dangerous current from flowing, but devices also exist to absorb an excessive voltage which might cause damage or malfunction, as well as to cut the supply in the case of overheating, such as a kettle boiling dry.
Conventional wire fuses
Spark gaps and neons
Single-use thermal fuses
Resetable thermal fuses
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