100A Service Hints


Old 01-07-07, 09:31 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 7
100A Service Hints

I recently purchased a house with an old style fuse box and want to change it to circuit breakers.
How do I properly redistribute the wiring before having the electrician install the new box? i.e. lighting, recepticles, furnace, hot water heater, well pump, stove, central air, gas dryer, washer, kitchen & baths...
All the wiring into the fuse box is 12/2 except for the stove.
What's the easiest way to identify the existing wires to know where they are currently connected to the box? Is there a way to know if the wiring is connected through hidden junction boxes?

Appreciate any help on these questions. Thanks!
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Old 01-08-07, 03:45 AM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Wilmington
Posts: 4,219
There should be no hidden J boxes, anywhere. That has been illegal for a long time. There may, however, be J boxes. They could actually help redistribute the power, but unless you are up on your code, I would leave that to the electrician. The easiest way to name the locations for wires is simply shut off a circuit and indicate what no longer works. But is is not essential to know when changing a box. #14 goes to 15A breakers and #20 goes to 20A breakers. Dryers, ranges, etc are usually indicated by their wire size.
Old 01-08-07, 04:37 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
Just Bill is incorrect. It is essential to now exactly what is on each and every breaker (or fuse in your case) shortly after moving in and BEFORE you attempt any renovations to your setup. When the new panel is installed you want the breakers to be properly labeled.

The information is invaluable in case of a problem and it could save your life some day.

Within a short time of moving in you should have thoroughly and completely mapped out what is on each and every fuse and what fuse controls each and every receptacle, light, and appliance in your house. Do so not, BEFORE you even think of having the panel changed.

Have someone help you. Plug something into each and every receptacle (lights and radios work well) one at a time and then determine what fuse controls it. Do the same with the lights and appliances, by turning them on.

When you are finished you should have a complete list. Make labels for your current fuse panel, and insist that the electrician make proper labels fro your new panel.
Old 01-08-07, 04:57 AM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Saint Louis
Posts: 259
You can always have the electrician install the new panel, using the old wiring. Then, as you migrate off the old circuits, just turn off the breakers.
Old 01-09-07, 06:40 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 7
Unhappy Thanks guys

I guess part of the problem that I have been running into is that the labels on the existing box make no sense, because it is labeled for 12 fuses when only 10 exist and have been finding out that they in no way correspond to how they are actually wired.
I have been trying to note all of my findings on which fuses actually control which recepticles and switches, but have been finding a few of the recepticles and switches don't even work, or at least I can't figure out what the actual switches control.
Old 01-09-07, 06:49 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
You have learned a lesson. Never trust someone else labeling the panel. While the panel may have been labeled correctly at one point, that may have been changed.

Sometimes it is easier to ignore any existing labels, and other times it is easier to start with the labels, verifying them, and add or subtract a appropriate.

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