800 sq ft house built in 1949 / fuse panel - Page 2 - Electrician Talk - Professional Electrical Contractors Forum
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Old 12-23-2018, 02:23 PM   #21
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They were usually mounted against the ceiling which in an old house means a 9 foot ceiling, Hate to change that fuse if it was a fuse box and I lived there way back then.
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Old 12-23-2018, 02:24 PM   #22
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Probably the vibration on the wiring of changing a light bulb will burn the house down. probably a closed fixture in the kitchen with a 150 watt light bulb just a cook'in the wire for a foot back or so from the attachment point.

So the fuses should be 15 amp right away and then check for fires in the attic while the electrician is on his/her way.

Just because the house made it to today doesn't mean it will be there tomorrow. In fact the odds...
Anytime someone says "It's lasted this long without a problem" I will tell them that is what everyone says after there is a fire. "It was fine for all these years, right until it burned our house down".

Sometimes I will explain to people how there are still old cars from the 50's on the road without airbags, crumple zones, and shoulder straps for the seatbelts and ask them if they would want their kids driving around in those. When they say no, I ask why they would want their kids in a house with 1950's electrical equipment when there is much safer equipment today.
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Old 12-23-2018, 02:29 PM   #23
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@Hansolo, when you say that you "Worked in residential electrical for 5 years", do you mean that you were employed as a fulltime electrician? Or were you just doing "general construction" (as you said later in your profile) and did some electrical work while doing that?

The reason why I ask is because anyone who has done 5 years of residential electrical work would usually know what to do with the fusepanel and whether it was safe or not.
Updated. Did work as a handyman helping folks with minor household electrical issues and additions. Not a full time electrician.

I deserve the call out. No offense to electricians here intended.

I know this panel is not truly safe as nothing this antiquated is up to current code. I just wanted to throw the red meat out to you all and get candid opinions. Thanks for the start on that.

I only have my brother pictures to go on as I have not inspected the house myself (out of state).

According to him, no electrical work has ever been done on the house (to his knowledge).
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Old 12-23-2018, 02:32 PM   #24
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I am doubting that is the actual service, probably just a subpanel.
Hmmm. You think so? I asked him to send me a picture of the main service panel to the house and this is what he sent.

House is really small, so I assumed that this could be the only panel.

He said he does not have 220v service btw... only 120
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Old 12-23-2018, 02:33 PM   #25
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Updated. Did work as a handyman helping folks with minor household electrical issues and additions. Not a full time electrician.

I deserve the call out. No offense to electricians here intended.

I know this panel is not truly safe as nothing this antiquated is up to current code. I just wanted to throw the red meat out to you all and get candid opinions. Thanks for the start on that.

I only have my brother pictures to go on as I have not inspected the house myself (out of state).

According to him, no electrical work has ever been done on the house (to his knowledge).
Fair enough.

It is dangerous. It is pretty much the worst kind of electrical wiring you can have. I consider it worse than knob & tube since the conductors are close to each other and can arc easier.

While there is a lot of stuff that homeowners can do themselves, this is absolutely not one of them. He needs to find a good electrician.
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Old 12-23-2018, 02:33 PM   #26
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I have found that in a lot of really old houses, they ran a single 15A or 20A circuit to a subpanel, which was a 2 or 4 position fusepanel. Then branched off of that.

I do not know why, but I have seen is a few dozen times.
Interesting. I will have him poke around more in the garage. This panel I shared is on the outside of the house next to garage.
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Old 12-23-2018, 02:34 PM   #27
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Hmmm. You think so? I asked him to send me a picture of the main service panel to the house and this is what he sent.

House is really small, so I assumed that this could be the only panel.

He said he does not have 220v service btw... only 120
A lot of people would not be able to tell the difference. I am willing to bet that he has 240V between those 2 hots.

Like I said, he really needs an electrician.
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Old 12-23-2018, 02:39 PM   #28
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Hansolo., are you currently a electrician or what ?


If not current I would suggest that you get a electrician to come out and assit you on this one due there is too many unknowen items can show up in the house and if you are not prepared it can bite your arse on this one.

I have dealt a lot of older home and they have it own suprises and quriks if you are not aware of it.

You may have to some pretty good rewireing the house to bring it up the codes and is this the only fusebox for the whole house ? typically some older homes it may have couple of small fuseboxes around the house so be aware of that.

No sir, I am not.

Agree, I will be having an electrician come by.

The main reason I am posting here is because I want a bit more advice than I may get from a local electrician who after looking at this may only feel safe to say "this is not safe, you need to have the house rewired with a new panel". You know, liability and all...
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Old 12-23-2018, 02:42 PM   #29
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How safe is safe? If you want safe, rewire it and bring it entirely up to code including new service.

If you want me to tell you plug fuses are decent circuit protection, I can do that, but...
Lol. I know and I hear you.

See my previous post as to my reason for posting a seemingly dumb thread.
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Old 12-23-2018, 02:44 PM   #30
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Is your brother a monk?


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Ha! No, just a middle aged guy who is currently a bachelor.
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Old 12-23-2018, 02:45 PM   #31
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It really needs to be rewired.

With crap like that, a full service upgrade including all new service entrance, meter, panel, and grounding is needed. Then circuits added. The good thing is that an 800sqft house is pretty easy to rewire.
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Old 12-23-2018, 02:48 PM   #32
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Probably the vibration on the wiring of changing a light bulb will burn the house down. probably a closed fixture in the kitchen with a 150 watt light bulb just a cook'in the wire for a foot back or so from the attachment point.

So the fuses should be 15 amp right away and then check for fires in the attic while the electrician is on his/her way.

Just because the house made it to today doesn't mean it will be there tomorrow. In fact the odds...
I was going to suggest this to him. It appears from the photo (I have not inspected the house) that the he has 12awg wiring or better but going with 15amp fuses in a house this old fits in the category of "better safe...".

Opinions on time delay fuses btw?
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Old 12-23-2018, 02:49 PM   #33
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No sir, I am not.

Agree, I will be having an electrician come by.

The main reason I am posting here is because I want a bit more advice than I may get from a local electrician who after looking at this may only feel safe to say "this is not safe, you need to have the house rewired with a new panel". You know, liability and all...
Thank you for answering my question here.,

Yes please tell your brother the wisest answer have a electrician deal with it.

espcally with that old a wiring in the house. anything can happened pretty quick so be aware of it.

with small house it should be not be super hard to rewire unless it have plaster and lath wall then it will take little more time than conventail drywall is.
Just be aware to rewire is not going be cheap but once it done rewired correctaly it will last a long time. ( please do not discuss the price in here otherwise ya will get wide variation of answer of price )
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Old 12-23-2018, 02:54 PM   #34
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I was going to suggest this to him. It appears from the photo (I have not inspected the house) that the he has 12awg wiring or better but going with 15amp fuses in a house this old fits in the category of "better safe...".

Opinions on time delay fuses btw?
I don't think using 15A breakers is going to make much of a difference. That high wattage light bulb still cooked the insulation on the wiring, a small fuse won't help that. The issue is more with arcing.
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Old 12-23-2018, 03:01 PM   #35
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That's a hut not a house.
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Old 12-23-2018, 03:02 PM   #36
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I don't think using 15A breakers is going to make much of a difference. That high wattage light bulb still cooked the insulation on the wiring, a small fuse won't help that. The issue is more with arcing.
I hear you. The wiring in that panel looks as if the insulation would fall completely apart if you bumped it.
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Old 12-23-2018, 03:03 PM   #37
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That's a hut not a house.
One mans hut is another mans house.
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Old 12-23-2018, 03:06 PM   #38
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