What kind of setup is this? 1949 Home


Old 06-20-04, 10:01 PM
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Question What kind of setup is this? 1949 Home

There's a 60 amp main fusible switch.
1. (20)
2. living room (15)
3. bedroom (15)
4. boiler (15)
Sub Feed. basement (15)

These surround the main box:

Hot water heater has three 20 amp fuses.
Burner 30 amp safety switch
outdoor drive outlet 30 amp
pump switch
lights basement

There's a a 9 switch unit breaker on the other side of the room (8-20a,1-15a)

This home has an underground oil tank and there's a warm air furnace in the basement. They will be installing one of those systems that grabs the radon from underground to blow it out of the house. I'm planning to have (which are probably just the basics) oven, fridge, washer, dryer, ceiling lights, home theatre, two televisions and two computers. Some of the rooms are powered through extension cords only. Old outlets.

Is this setup sufficient or will I need to uprgrade? How can I identify the ground connections? (not sure if there is any) I'm trying to find out what is needed to make it safe and in move in condition. Thanks
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Old 06-21-04, 05:28 AM
hornetd's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Maryland
Posts: 695
photographs would help

From just your description I can't be much help. If you can take digital photographs and post them I could answer your questions.
Tom H
Old 06-21-04, 06:40 AM
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Location: USA
Posts: 103
This comment "Some of the rooms are powered through extension cords only" caught my attention. I am re-habing a house that had a similar setup. The city inspector listed that this had to be corrected in order for me to get a cert. of occupancy. Since I had planned on redoing all the electrical in the house anyway (this house was also built in the 40's), this didn't surprise me. I'm fairly certain the 'extension cord only' scenario would be a problem in just about any locality.
Old 06-21-04, 10:00 PM
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Thanks for sharing...

I'm trying to find out how much power I will need in my home to run all the stuff mentioned above.
Old 06-22-04, 04:35 AM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Oregon
Posts: 1,219
You need to do a 'load' calculation.

Article 220 of the NEC covers this in a step by step fashion. You should borrow a copy of the version of the NEC that covers your location, and just go through the calculation. Search this board for the topic to get more background information.

The critical issues are the size of your home in square feet, and any significant specific appliance loads. Things like TVs and computers are generally pretty small loads, and can be grouped with the 'general lighting loads' unless you have some particularly power hungry component (eg. a large 'Class A' tube amplifier...old-style 'audiophile' gear)

What will really make the difference is any large electric heaters or motors. You mention a washer and dryer, and an oven. Are these _electric_ appliances, or _gas_ appliances with electric parts. If they are, then you will almost certainly need to upgrade your service. If your other loads are small, then you may be fine going up to 100A service, but it usually makes a small difference in price to go right to 200A service. You should know that for new installations, 100A is the _minimum_ that is permitted these days.

Other aspects of your description suggest some very old wiring. Even if your 60A service calculates out as sufficient for your loads, you should inspect the service quite carefully to look for things like decaying insulation, exposed wires, knob and tube wiring, etc. 'Rooms powered by extension cords' is just downright dangerous.

Old 06-22-04, 05:12 PM
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Thanks for your feedback

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