Checking service


Old 07-25-05, 04:30 PM
electrical idio
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Checking service

Want to upgrade my service from fuses to circuit breakers. Called the electric company to inquire of what amp service I have now. Told me they cant tell me. They dont know. Have to have an electrician come out. Anybody know how to check without paying an electrician to check.
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Old 07-25-05, 04:40 PM
Bob53's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Derry, New Hampshire
Posts: 291
Greetings and welcome.....

Check your main breaker or fuse in the panel box (usually at the top?) and it will have a number on it. i.e. 60A or 100A

The pros will give you better advice. The information you are looking for should be printed on or in the box also I believe.
Old 07-25-05, 05:47 PM
HandyRon's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: New York
Posts: 1,365
If there is a main fuse, the size is part of the equation. Tell us the markings on the wire leading into the main panel from the meter (material and size).
Old 07-26-05, 01:58 PM
scott e.'s Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Anderson, IN
Posts: 412
I guess that my thought is that the service you have now is irelevant. Since it is fused, it is almost certain to need completely replaced on an upgrade. The real question is what size does your house require. The pro's here can help you decide if you tell them about your house and what kinds of electrical appliances you have (stove, a/c, heat pump, w/h, etc.). I would probally recommend a 200A service. Just because it is not much more than a 100 or 150A and you never know when you will want to add a hot tub, however some factors will cause the price to be much more. I would suggest getting a couple of quotes from electricians reccomended by friends and neighbors.
By the way, the utility is responsible for running the correct size overhead lines to your house.

After re-reading your post, I get the impression that you might be trying to just swap out the fuse panel with a breaker panel. The problem with this plan is that in order to do this, you would need to have the meter pulled to shut off the power. Most jurisdictions require a minimum service size to replace the meter, so you might have to upgrade your service to get the power company to reconnect you. In this instance, it is a good idea to find out what size service you have to see if they will reconnect. The biggest fused residential service I have seen is 60A if I rembeer correctly. I still reccomend the complete upgrade to either a 100 or 200 A service depending on your home's requirements
Old 07-26-05, 02:28 PM
ElectricalMan's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Harrisonburg
Posts: 744
Good post scott.

Actually the minimum size Service now to a house is 100A and well their are fused panels out their rated at 100A but again kinda defeats the purpose to do a service swap out if by some slight chance it is a 100 to 100 change.....

Basically, with technology today and complex issues of new appliances, computers and the increased issue of harmonics and well it has just simply grown over the years.

Now as many of us have posted before.....doing a 100A panel is like saying I am willing to work all week for half the pay...nice jesture but we know I aint gonna do other words I agree with scott in that in the off chance your fused panel which might be 100A or less is changed to circuit breakers I would simply look at upgrading to 150A or 200A panel.....with a preference towards a 200A panel because the cost is minimal when you look at the over all picture.

As for some call it...down here in the south we call it simply the UTLY will supply it to the mast head or the meter cab on a latteral......and are bound by their own lack of them.

Basically to assist us in doing the calucations for you ( if even needed ) we would need to know your existing service but I can safely I am going out on a you have even in best case senerio a 100A fused panel.....a 200A upgrade will do you fine.

Sad to say I have a 400A service to install this week in 98 degree weather so I would love a nice small 200A panel to relax on.

Anyway.....the question to upgrade is beyond simply wanting circuit their is nothing wrong with fuses.....they do fine so you need to have a real reason to upgrade unless you just WANT to do it which is to me a waste of money.
Old 07-26-05, 02:37 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
Actually, many insurance companies are requiring that people with fuses upgrade to breakers within a certain period of time. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that many fused systems have no room for expansion, and they are betting that most homeowners will add something over the period of time they own the house.

My own house came with fuses, at 60 amps. However, because of an addition to the house (garage expansion) without a panel upgrade, the incoming service was 100 amps. I upgraded to breakers, but kept the 100 amp service, thereby saving money on the upgrade. Now if I had had 60 amp incoming service I would certainly have upgraded to 150 or 200 amps.
Old 07-26-05, 03:03 PM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Near Lansing, Michigan
Posts: 10,342
I recall reading something from State Farm a while ago that explained their reluctance to insure fused services.

They said in a nutshell that fused services were much less safe because it's so easy to accidentally or intentionally over fuse a branch circuit. An unknowledgable person could very easily replace 15A fuses with 30A fuses by carelessly buying the wrong package at the hardware store.

Breakers, on the other hand, have to be upsized deliberately; a simple reset by the unknowledgable homeowner cannot diminish the effectiveness of the breaker. Therefore, there is someone to hold liable in the event of an over-breakered circuit. Basically it was not a technical reason, but came down to breakers being far less prone to human error.
Old 07-26-05, 07:23 PM
ElectricalMan's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Harrisonburg
Posts: 744
lol....well I can say at the end of the day I would prefer they upgrade as I have kids to feed. But I did see ib refer to statefarm and knew I should add this.

I was buying an apartment complex about ohhhh....1 - 1 1/2 years ago and had to get it insured and started that process, I did everything and they wanted to know about the electrical.

1.) They had no problem with the fact it had 60A fused panels in every apartment but they threw a FIT when I told them I needed to check and make sure the wiring was not I intended to rewire it anyway but you can imagine their response and their NOW more narrowminded objective....

They did not care at all about the fused panels and i spoke with their underwriter regarding it...then he said I was too close to the issue being an electrician that I needed another electrician to check it that was not so closely tied to the property ( was buying it ) other words they did not trust

So I called my is an electrician also ( sneaky right...naw they knew I would ) and he told them the same thing and anyway.....the point was they did not care nearly as much in regards to the fused panels as they were on making sure the branch ckts were not Aluminum wire..... the short term we were going to use a bunch of the breaker style screw in devices....I am sure you have all seen them. It converts fuse holders to circuit breakers you screw it as a temp while we remodeled anyway.

Well...I know you are asking..did I buy the place....NOPE......dang place needed a plumber more than an electrician and I don't do plumbing...theheh

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