Learn To Pick The Right Fuse Rating For Your Car Amps
Understanding what the fuse does for your car amps and stereo equipment is critical. A simple fuse protects your stereo from being over powered and possibly burned out, or even worse catching fire. It is very dangerous to install a stereo without the properly rated fuse, because this will protect against shorts or other problems that can occur when driving your car. Some people blow fuses and just think oh I need a higher rated fuse or that a higher rated fuse will help their system perform better. This is not the case. Having a 120 amp or a 20 amp fuse will not make your stereo play any louder.
So how do you pick the right size fuse for your car audio system? First off you need to make sure you put the fuses in the right spot. I typically recommend having the fuse within 12" of the battery. What this does is help the fuse blow faster. If there is a short the fuse will blow right away protecting the wire from melting and hopefully stopping power before reaching the amps. Now if we have a fuse in the trunk of the car it will take longer for the fuse to blow so the wire could get really hot and the current might reach your expensive stereo equipment.
Now as I mentioned before you also need to have the right rated fuse to protect your car amps. Finding out what size fuse you need is pretty simple. For a single amp install you simply add up the fuse rating on your amp. Be careful that the original rated fuses were not replaced with the wrong ones as this is pretty common. So say my amp has a single 25A fuse. I would then want to have a 25A fuse up by the battery as well. Sometime you have to round up so I might use a 30A fuse, but you definitely wouldn't want to put in a 100A fuse. This is because a 120A fuse will allow 120 amperes before it blows. Your amp only needs 25 amperes so I would be allowing a lot of dangerous amount of current to get to the amp before the fuse blew. You could have a short the fried your amp and the fuse would still not have blown.
Now when you are installing multiple car amps in you system the process is somewhat the same. You have the main fuse within 12" of the battery. The rating of this fuse will be determined by all the fuse ratings of all the amps you are installing. So let's say I added another amp to the system above and this amp had 3) 20A fuses. So that would give us a total of 60 amperes for that amp and the 25 amperes for the other amp for a total of 85. I would want my fuse by the battery to be 85, or most likely rounded up to a 90A fuse. Now I also need to fuse each amp as well. For this you would use a distribution block. A distribution block is just what it sounds like; it distributes the main power wire to smaller power wires that go to the individual components.
I want to use a fused distribution block and the fuse rating would be the same as above. I would use a 60A fuse and a 25A fuse, and run the wire from the distribution block to the amp itself. By wiring up your car amps this way you will not allow more current than your amp can handle. It is also important to make sure your system is properly grounded when using multiple components. I usually will use a ground distribution block. These are not fused but other than that they are the same as a power distribution block. It is also a good idea to make sure you have the right size wire for the amount of power your system is producing.
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