Fuses prevent the excess flow of electrical current. Typically, older homes have fuse boxes. Excess electrical current passing through a fuse causes the thin metal wire that looks like a light bulb filament to overheat and melt, which opens the circuit. Fuses come in several types including a plug fuse and cartridge fuse, which are the two most common. Most homeowners, at some point overload the electrical capacity of the fuse and need to replace it when no power is present in an outlet.
Examine the fuses to find the one that appears brown near the center or the one where the thin metal wire in the center is no longer in one, arced piece.
Open the front panel on the fuse box. Locate the appropriate pull out block, which is a square device that houses cartridge fuses and pull it out of the fuse box. As soon as you remove the pull out block, the entire house is without power. If the cartridge fuse is for a dryer or other large electrical appliance, it may have its own wall-mounted box that is not removable. Locate the box for the device, open the front door and slide the power cutoff lever to the off position.
Turn the power lever back on or place the pull out block back into the fuse box.