American Electric Pull out fuse - Help needed

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Old 06-27-11, 07:31 PM
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American Electric Pull out fuse - Help needed

A rental house I own had an old American Electric pull-out fuse sitting outside the electrical panel. It was for the hot water heater and I had it unplugged cause the unit was vacant and water was shut off. Cleaning service threw it away cause they thought it was garbage!

This panel was installed when the house was built in the 50's. Anybody know a source (but not ebay) to buy these plugs?

Thanks!
 
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Old 06-28-11, 03:08 AM
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It would be easier to get an air conditioner disconnect and replace the unit. An unfused one will be about $10. If you need a fused one I can't guess on the price, but would not suspect too much more.
 
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Old 06-28-11, 06:58 AM
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Thanks for the reply pcboss. This disconnect that you are speaking of, will fit in the slot where the pull out fuse plug did? This is what it looks like.



Will a disconnect for an air conditioner be rated to handle a full size hot water heater?

I'm not worried too much about price, I just need to get something quick as I have tenants set to arrive in just 2 days!

Thanks

(Edit: Looking at the various air conditioner disconnects online, I don't see any that would be a replacement for what I have. If you know of any sources though, please let me know. Thanks)
 

Last edited by RobertToy; 06-28-11 at 07:30 AM.
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Old 06-28-11, 08:18 AM
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pcboss. Are you suggesting that I straight wire the connections for the hot water heater inside the fuse panel, and install a new fused disconnect at the hot water heater location? I kinda doubt that would pass electrical code...
 
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Old 06-28-11, 09:25 AM
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Robert I don't think PCBoss realized you were talking about a part missing from a fuse box. Why don't you want to buy from Ebay? Given this is a rental and tennants sometimes over-fuse maybe this is the time to bite the bullet and replace the fuse box with a breaker box.

Just my opinion: May be time to offer the new tenants reduced rent for no hot water. Are there any unused fuse slots in the box?
 
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Old 06-28-11, 11:08 AM
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Ray,

Thanks. There is another bathroom downstairs with a separate water heater and electrical service they can use until the upstairs one is fixed.

Ebay / Paypal is an evil company and I refuse to deal with them. I'll pay to have the fuse box swapped out with a breaker panel if I can't find a replacement otherwise.
 
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Old 06-28-11, 12:20 PM
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If you're near a bigger sized city there is probably an electrical equipment recycler / salvage dealer in the area, check the yellow pages. Other than eBay I don't know of any online sources for old panel parts. It shouldn't be too bad of a job to just replace the disconnect with a new one though.
 
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Old 06-28-11, 01:10 PM
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Not near a big city, unfortunately. Electric meter would need to be pulled to shut off power to the panel, as there are multiple fuse blocks in it. I'm only missing one of the 3 in the panel. The ones for the lighting/wall sockets and the range are still there.

Thanks for your help,

Robert
 
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Old 06-28-11, 01:33 PM
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Then it sounds like the best thing to do is to get an electrician out to replace the panel with a new one. Even without the missing block, it's not a bad idea to do it anyway. Those fuse panels are well beyond their intended lifespan.
 
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Old 06-29-11, 08:19 AM
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I was suggesting to replace the whole disconnect, not try to retro fit a part from a new one into the existing.
 
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Old 06-29-11, 06:29 PM
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There is a simple solution other than replacing the entire panel. Most of these old fuse panels had bus taps beneath the pull-outs, mixed in with the screw-in fuse terminals. If you don't know what you are looking for, you'd never know what they were. It is code compliant under the tap rule to connect to the bus taps with #10 wire and feed a 30 amp fused disconnect immediately outside the main fuse panel. Then, connect the water heater circuit to this new fused disconnect. A small breaker panel with a 2P 30A breaker would work as well.
 
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Old 06-30-11, 11:39 AM
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I got lucky and a local electrician that does a lot of panel swap outs in old houses had a box of fuse blocks that he saves. Had one that fit perfectly. 15 bucks!
 
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Old 06-30-11, 01:25 PM
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Good deal. Thanks for letting us know.
 
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