How can a light be on with all fuses pulled

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  #1  
Old 02-04-06, 02:15 PM
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How can a light be on with all fuses pulled

I have recently been reviewing the wiring summary I created when I moved into our house 35 years ago, and I realized that a light in the basement hallway stays on even when I have removed all the fuses from the box (yes, it is an old box with screw-in fuses). How can that be?
 
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Old 02-04-06, 02:24 PM
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Either you don;t know about another fuse panel, or somehow this light is wired without going through a fuse.

Either way, you need to figure out what is going on.
 
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Old 02-04-06, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by wmcrossgr
How can that be?
How many of the Edison bases have pennies in them?

If you pull your mains, does the light go out?
Is there a tap for a water heater or clothes dryer?
 
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Old 02-04-06, 05:31 PM
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Do you have any other fuse boxes in the basement. They are often tapped off the mains of the fuse box and have their own fuses in them, usually with a knife switch (with a lever on the side of the fuse box). Sometimes people subsequently tap off of those switch/fuse boxes. You may have to trace the wire from the light and switch.
Also check your fuses to make sure that they are the correct size. I often see 30 amp fuses in 15 and 20 amp circuits.
 
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Old 02-04-06, 07:00 PM
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When remodeling a house with an edison base box, I almost always determine the originally intended amperage of the circuit and install a fusetron or fusestat with limiting base, so no one could accidentally throw the wrong size fuse in the hole (and pennies don't fit too good either). I have also seen taps directly off the main to a permanantly lit light, such as a porch light, so check that, too.
 
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Old 02-05-06, 02:51 PM
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Worse than I thought

Many thanks to the posters for their suggestions. Actually, the problem is worse than I thought. One whole circuit remains hot when I remove the fuse. I am going to avoid using it today and call an electrician tomorrow (Monday) and probably replace my whole box.

Here is the situation: my Edison-base fuses in fact have fustat adaptors screwed into them. One, however, got damaged when I once replaced a fuse, so I removed it and replaced it with an Edison-style 15-amp fuse. Somehow, the circuit stays hot now even when I take out the fuse. When I shut off the main switch and removed the wire, then the circuit in question went dead. What damage to the Edison base could cause a connection to stay hot when the fuse is out?

Bill
 
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Old 02-05-06, 07:16 PM
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How did you get the spring loaded adapter out of the screw hole? They are meant to be one-time use, and tamper proof. Look down into the hole with the fuse removed just to see if the spring is touching the button. If so, it is your fuse and will energize the system with the fuse pulled.
 
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