Advice on replacing/moving an old 100 amp Fuse Panel

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Old 09-11-07, 01:20 PM
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Advice on replacing/moving an old 100 amp Fuse Panel

I just purchased a cottage. The electrical service is 100amp, with a small fused panel. The cottage is fairly old, and the original wiring is aluminum, with some newer copper circuits. The wiring is in fairly good shape, but I would like to replace it starting next year. However, I need to do some work now, for example, the baseboard heaters in the main room need to be replaced, and there is no point in working on the old fuse box. So here is my plan.

I will install a new 100 amp breaker sub-panel, and feed it with 240 volt/60 amp using 6 awg copper wire. BTW, 60 amps is the maximum fuse I can install on the old panel. I will do any new work from the sub-panel. Once a move and/or replace enough circuits to the sub-panel, I will have the Hydro company move the main 100 amp feed to the sub-panel making it the main panel, and feeding any remaining circuits left in the fuse panel via the 60 amp circuit. (This will now be a sub-panel). This way I can do most of the work myself over the next year, and only call in the professionals to move the main feed.

Does this sound like a plan?

One quick question. The old fuse panel has a main disconnect, and is protected by 2 large cartridge type 100 amp fuses. These are both housed in a separate compartment of the panel. The fuse part of the panel is feed by two aluminum cables. The main lags feeding the panel can take fairly large wire. In effect, the disconnect side of the panel is completely separate from the fuse compartment. Once I move all the circuits to the new sub-panel, can I disconnect the old aluminum wire from the lags and replace them with #3 copper wiring to feed the new breaker panel, thus upgrading it to a full 100 amp panel. This way I would be keeping the Hydro feed to the old panel, but only use the main disconnect and the 100 amp fuses. All the circuits would be in the new breaker panel. This would save me having to call Hydro and have all the troubles and expense of switching the main feed. Or I’m I just being lazy?

Sorry for the long post.
 
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Old 09-11-07, 01:32 PM
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I'm a little lost on the details, but you can feed the new panel from the old one as a sub, then transfer over circuits as time allows. The ultimate goal should be to take out the old fuse fed panel, but unless there is an external disconnect that must be done hot. Now, if your poco is kind, they may pull the meter for you and help you with that last step.
 
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Old 09-11-07, 02:58 PM
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You can do what you're saying - to set up a new subpanel and later make it your main panel. IMO it would be worth the bit extra to eventually get rid of the fuse box completely as opposed to using it as a "main fuse" as you mentioned. No one likes the idea of fuse boxes any more, and it may end up looking like a kludge job.

Also consider making your first job replacing the fuse box (or have someone do it). Just upgrading to a 100A breaker panel wouldn't be too expensive, and would allow you to do all your work fresh without worrying about transferring anything in the future. Just something to think about...
 
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Old 09-11-07, 05:31 PM
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I agree with Zorfdt. If you just replace the 100A panel and feed as is now, then start with new ckts. Work your way down.

Unless there is a need, due to future construction. why relocate the feed?

If you must relocate, go with the sub panel idea. Oversize the panel and fuse it to the sixty amp, (IE 100A/200A). Then proceed.
 
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