Old Sub Panel

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  #1  
Old 08-26-12, 05:22 AM
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Old Sub Panel

Hi everyone,

I purchased a home last year which was built in 1965. In the basement there is an upgraded 200 amp main panel. There is also what appears to be a sub-panel in the garage that runs off of a double pole (2 20 amp breakers) breaker from the main panel. The sub panel in the garage is OLD. Coming out of the sub panel are 3 power lines that go to various receptacles/garage door openers/etc. Recently 2 out of the 3 stopped working. I believe the 2 that stopped working are connected to the panel in the same place. My question is if there is a way to 'reset' this old type of panel, since there are no breakers. The breakers at the main panel did not trip, so that doesn't appear to be the problem. Here is what I know about the panel.

-It is a Murray/Arrow Hart
-It appears to be a 30 amp panel

Here are some links to pictures of it. Thanks for any help.

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  #2  
Old 08-26-12, 05:54 AM
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Those 2 little cylindrical brass capped items in the copper clips are fuses. Turn off the power to the sub panel in the basement panel, remove the two cylinders and go down to the hardware store and get two new fuses of the same size. Replace them with the new fuses. If you have a friend with an ohm meter, he can check to see which one of the old fuses is still good and you can keep it for a spare. Don't forget to turn the breakers back on in the basement when you are done !
 
  #3  
Old 08-26-12, 07:15 AM
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Rather than replacing the fuses, I'd start by calling an electrician to replace that mess.
 
  #4  
Old 08-26-12, 08:48 AM
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I have no idea why there would be a 20A safety switch in a garage. Maybe it was originally 30A for a small welder?

Anyway, kill the breaker and pull the fuse where you think the dead loads are connected. Read the labels on both fuses. You want 20A fuses here. Take the fuse you pulled to the hardware or big box store and buy one or two (if the one still in the switch isn't 20A) new fuse(s). Put the replacement in, kill the safety switch, and go turn the breaker on. Come back to the garage and turn the switch on.

If everything works, you're back in business. Then you can start on replacing that safety switch with a J-box, some conduit, properly secured Type NM, and GFCI protection.
 
  #5  
Old 08-26-12, 11:07 AM
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When you get new fuses get time delay fuses.
 
  #6  
Old 08-26-12, 11:27 AM
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Thanks for all the great responses everyone it was a big help. I'll definitely be replacing the panel in the future but with a baby due in the next 3 weeks it's not the best time.

If you don't mind me asking, what's the difference between a time delay fuse and a normal fuse? Thanks.
 
  #7  
Old 08-26-12, 11:46 AM
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A time delay fuse will allow you to exceed the rating of the fuse, for short duration, for applications such as starting an electric motor or air conditioner. Without the time delay feature, the fuse will blow as soon as you exceed the rating.
 
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Old 08-26-12, 11:57 AM
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When you get new fuses get time delay fuses.
A good point. Back to what I said earlier about reading the labels on the fuses carefully: If the one you think, or test, to be good isn't a 20A time delay fuse, buy two new ones and replace them both.
 
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