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Fuse failure #20679
01/18/03 09:17 PM
01/18/03 09:17 PM
Nevin  Offline OP
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 30
Lititz PA 17543
Had a case this morning where I had a 50 amp FRS-R fuse in a GE 60amp disconnect fail. I was not around when it occured however by all indications it really "blew" [Linked Image]. The top was burned out of the fuse and the line conductors above it had the insulation charred. the Red arc sheild was melted and sagging. These fuses are on a air compressor motor and normal amp draw is 29amps free running and 31amps under full load. I replaced the burnt conductors and checked out everything else. There were no line to ground faults and the resistance on the motor windings all check out normal. I replaced the fuse and fired up the machine everything ran normal.
What are the chances of a fuse failing like that for no apparent reason except for being a defective fuse? This compressor with these fuses has been in service for 3-1/2 years with no problems.
This incident also just reinforced in my mind the importance of have all open knockouts plugged and using the appropriate enclosure for the enviroment (dust etc). With the fire that blown fuse must have created, It would have been an ideal source of fire had it not been contained inside a proper enclosure.

Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades
Re: Fuse failure #20680
01/18/03 09:28 PM
01/18/03 09:28 PM
electric-ed  Offline
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 175
Sounds like high reistance in the fuse clip or the wire terminal caused the overheating.

There isn't much that can "malfunction" in a fuse that has a sufficiently high interrupting rating.


Re: Fuse failure #20681
01/19/03 12:45 AM
01/19/03 12:45 AM
Bjarney  Offline
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 2,527
West-Southern Inner-Northeast ...
It's a judgment call, but overheated fuse clips can lose spring tension or 'bite'.

The books say one shouldn't be able to easily rotate [by hand] the fuse barrel.

Re: Fuse failure #20682
01/19/03 01:16 AM
01/19/03 01:16 AM
resqcapt19  Offline
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 2,148
There is a product to help when the fuse clips have lost their spring. Look at the TRON Clip-Clamps near the bottom of this page.

Re: Fuse failure #20683
01/19/03 06:05 AM
01/19/03 06:05 AM
maintenanceguy  Offline
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 300
Southern NJ, USA
I've come across fuses that were broken in half a few times. I figured that they burst or broke when they blew. No damage just alittle cleanup.

I suspect your burned wires and melted arc shield didn't happen in this instantaneous flash but that these things were hot for a long time from loose lugs or corrosion. Thats what I've seen melt those plastic arc shields and the wire insulation. Sometimes those arc shields look like a dali painting

[img] [/img]

Re: Fuse failure #20684
01/19/03 09:12 PM
01/19/03 09:12 PM
lighthouse  Offline
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 134
philadelphia pa 19125
Nevin...actually these fuses are under size per code.your FRS-R fuses (time delay)are calculated at 175% with your full load current of 31 amps x 175% = 54.25 amps you can go up to the next size 60 amps fuses.the 50 are under size.and maybe a loose connection on the wiring or the clip did not help either.

Re: Fuse failure #20685
01/20/03 05:17 PM
01/20/03 05:17 PM
Pearlfish  Offline
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 83
Chicago Ridge, Il, USA
Nevin, What voltage is your compressor running at? FRS-R's are rated for 250 Volts. If someone accidentally grabbed the wrong fuses out of the drawer, (I've seen it happen) and installed them into a 480 Volt circuit. The results from the insulation breakdown would be consistent with the damage you describe.

Re: Fuse failure #20686
01/20/03 06:28 PM
01/20/03 06:28 PM
JBD  Offline
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 599
Bussmann FRS-R fuses are 600V rated.
It is their 250V family that is FRN-R.

Re: Fuse failure #20687
01/20/03 06:30 PM
01/20/03 06:30 PM
lighthouse  Offline
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 134
philadelphia pa 19125
Pearlfish...there is no way you can put 250 volt fuses in a 600 volt fused disconnect switch or 600 volts fuses in a 240 volt fused disconnect switch.(they just will not fit)base on the fuses(FRS-R fuse) info.they are used on 480 volts circuits.rating 600 this case a motor load.

if it was 240 fuses the number would have been FRN-R

[This message has been edited by lighthouse (edited 01-20-2003).]

Re: Fuse failure #20688
01/20/03 07:44 PM
01/20/03 07:44 PM
jdevlin  Offline
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 402
welland ontario canada
Is the photo I see in the this post on the violations section?
It sure looks like what your decribe.

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