Old screw type fuse box


Old 03-22-11, 10:29 PM
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Old screw type fuse box

Hi all.
Sorry maybe long. Have old screw type fuse box, 2-15a/2-20a and 240 for elec stove. This is condo/high rise Chgo. I turned everything off and have one 20a that is not providing ac to anything (chkd 2x). The other 20a has kitchen sink outlet and 1 other outlet. 15a has fridge, kitchen lght, inside cabinet outlet, thermostat and 3 other outlets. Other 15a has 1 outlet, bathroom light and outlet, 2 closet lghts, 2 hallway lghts. One how would you test if the one 20a has juice w/ tester, one lead on box (ground) the other inside the hole? How are these screw types wired this is more curiosity not looking to change anything myself comfortable w/ ac/dc but I know when to call in the experts? The other thing is we are having a overhead micro put in should we wait to find out what's up with electrical? I know this is a silly question don't laugh too hard my better half wants micro up and paid for install so I don't have to do this. I'm familiar w/ electrical (no expert) and would appreciate any and all help since I have been doing more fixes myself or that the association will allow.

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Old 03-22-11, 10:46 PM
ray2047's Avatar
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If you don't own it you shouldn't do it because of liability. Chicago wiring code is stricter then NEC. Even if you own it you should probably hire an electrician.
Old 03-23-11, 01:40 PM
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Those old fuse boxes could have issues, such as burn't shells and pullouts and you can't get them anymore so better to let someone else deal with the potential headaches. I would say it has power to it as most had shells that screwed directly to bussing. Of course I can't see yours so I can't guarantee that. Back in the day there were a lot of companies that made those and all of them are out of business....
Old 03-23-11, 08:07 PM
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Thank you for getting back and yes since its a high rise I have the building on top of Chicago code to contend with so I know when to get an expert. In any event can I use a meter to see if there is power in the one screw that doesn't seem to power anything and if so could I just put one lead in screw hole and one on box for ground? Do you have an idea what type of cost this might be with everything going right which we all know rarely happens, just looking at starting point?

Old 03-23-11, 08:26 PM
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To check if the circuit is live you would have to take off the dead front or panel cover to access the inside wires. You then can take a meter set to volts (higher than your expected voltage) and read from the screw where the wires connect to ground or neutral. You may just fine there is no wire connect to that fuse.

If you set your meter to ohms you can check your fuse to make sure they are good. Remove them and put one lead on the middle and one on the screw shell.
Old 03-23-11, 09:31 PM
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Your fuse box may not have space to add the needed circuit for the microwave.
Old 03-24-11, 09:26 AM
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Also beware that in a high rise building you might not have a 120/240V electrical service like single family homes have. You might have portion of a commercial three-phase service which would probably be 120Y208V, but could possibly be some other configurations.
Old 03-24-11, 03:47 PM
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Nobody has even addressed the fact that a panel with only four plug (screw-in) fuses is going to be woefully inadequate in anything approaching a modern kitchen. I think you really need an assessment of the entire panel and a demand load calculation. Upgrading of the panel may not even be possible depending on the infrastructure of the building.
Old 03-24-11, 07:14 PM
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Upgrading of the panel may not even be possible depending on the infrastructure of the building.
That's right, it could be a riser panel where the feeder to several floors of stacked apartments could be running through your panel.
Old 03-25-11, 07:03 PM
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Those old 4 fuse panels were also usually feed-thru. You need to also be aware that in high rise buildings there may be 208/120 wye, delta, wild leg systems, 480/277V, and many more wiring systems.

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