Hooking Up to Fuse Box

Reply

  #1  
Old 01-19-14, 10:43 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 6
Hooking Up to Fuse Box

Hi All,

My husband and I are having to replace some Romex that led from a fuse box. It was #12. We want to put in 2 wire #10 for a water heater.

We assume we can more or less duplicate the way the old Romex was hooked up. (We're not electricians by any stretch of the imagination). A question has come up though. Inside the fuse box the two hot wires are connected but the ground wire has been cut off and not connected to anything. This doesn't seem right. Shouldn't there be a ground? If so, where would we connect it? We don't see anyplace inside the fuse box that's meant for a ground wire--no screws, green or otherwise.

I've included a picture of the fuse box.

Sure would appreciate any wisdom

Sherry

Name:  P2610864, smaller.jpg
Views: 5113
Size:  44.6 KB
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 01-19-14, 10:56 AM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 39,968
Welcome to the forums! The manner in which this box was wired is incorrect. You may not run wires through a fastening slot as was done in the upper right side. This box was made for two 120 volt circuits protected by edison fuses. Yes, the grounding wire should be connected to the box. For about $10 you can install a 240 volt pull box and be in compliance. The originating wires come from a fused or breaker of 30 amps, correct? All the wiring must be 10 gauge wirw, so al of it may need to be changed out.
 
  #3  
Old 01-19-14, 11:07 AM
Tolyn Ironhand's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Twin Cities, MN
Posts: 12,277
Welcome to the forums!

Yes, you can connect the new #10 wire in place of the #12 wire. The white of the of Romex cable should be marked black with tape or marker.

The wires feeding the top (LINE) of the disconnect should also be at least #10 or larger and should have a fuse/breaker sized to that wire. (#10 - 30 amp, #8 - 40 amp, etc)

I can't see how the feeder is wired, but it looks like a metallic wiring method. If it is metal between this disconnect and where the circuit originates, the ground wire should be connected to the steel of the metal box with a ground screw, lug, or ground clip. You would need to tap into the steel if you use a screw, so a better option might be to get a grounding bushing and connect it to the pipe that the feeder is in on the upper left side of the box.

You also need to install some knock out seals on any unused holes in the disconnect.

After reading Chandlers post: (Although not sure which wire he is referring to. )

It might make more sense to just change out this box and install a new A/C disconnect. You can get them fused and unfused and they only cost about $8.
 
  #4  
Old 01-19-14, 11:07 AM
ray2047's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,044
Minor detail: Is the fuse box visible from the water heater? If not or if the wire from the main panel has to be replaced you should just put the unfused* pull-out disconnect** Larry suggested next to the water heater. Then you can just use it as the connection box for the water heater whip.

*Assumes the panel is fed by a feed from an OCPD.
**The disconnect we refer to is often sold as an unfused 60 amp A/C (air conditioner) disconnect.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 01-19-14 at 11:55 AM.
  #5  
Old 01-19-14, 11:44 AM
CasualJoe's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 9,385
I'd like to know and see where the power comes from the main panel. Is the main panel also a fuse box? If so, the power may be coming from unfused bus taps and this fusible switch is needed right where it is.
 
  #6  
Old 01-19-14, 11:50 AM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 39,968
Scott, it was a shadow. Wiring is in order. False alarm. Still think a disconnect would be in order if the circuit is protected at the main panel.

This box requires two edison fuses which will not kill both legs simultaneously should one leg fault.
 
  #7  
Old 01-19-14, 11:58 AM
core's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Des Moines, IA
Posts: 1,127
Minor detail: Is the fuse box visible from the water heater? If not or if the wire from the main panel has to be replaced you should just put the unfused pull-out disconnect* Larry suggested next to the water heater.
Ray/Larry- Are such unfused disconnects subject to the 30" x 36" x 78" clearance requirements in your areas? While they don't necessarily require "maintenance" while energized, you can't hardly check voltage when they are not energized. So goes the argument. I've seen differing opinions. Thinking back I don't think I've ever had a house where I had such space immediately next to the water heater. Can they be mounted on the ceiling facing downward if readily accessible, in order to get the clearance?
 
  #8  
Old 01-19-14, 12:09 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,044
Are such unfused disconnects subject to the 30" x 36" x 78" clearance requirements in your areas?
They are a type of switch not an electrical panel so I vote no.
Can they be mounted on the ceiling facing downward if readily accessible
Readily accessible would mean the ceiling was 6'7" or less high.
 
  #9  
Old 01-19-14, 12:36 PM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 39,968
I have mounted them above water heaters where wall space would make it inconvenient, and the joists were low as Ray says.
 
  #10  
Old 01-21-14, 03:48 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 6
Hi Chandler,

Thank you.

I am not an electrician nor do I normally play one. So could y'all talk in civilian-speak please? OKay, as I understand what an Edison fuse is, I think that's what's in the main switch next door to this fuse box. Here's a photo of what's inside the box labeled "Main Switch."

Name:  P2610873, small.jpg
Views: 2192
Size:  46.5 KB

Okay, that 240 v pull box sounds like a good idea.

I'm not sure what you mean when you say, "The originating wires come from a fused or breaker of 30 amps, correct?" The fuse box has 30 amp fuses in it and has always had fuses of that amp. Do you mean wires coming in from the main switch box into the fuse box?

I'm sorry for my ignorance. We're having to do some quick-study on this problem.

Sherry
 
  #11  
Old 01-21-14, 04:02 PM
pcboss's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Maryland
Posts: 14,587
I vote to replace that mess with a breaker panel.
 
  #12  
Old 01-21-14, 04:07 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 6
Hi Tolyn,

By disconnect, are you referring to the fuse box with the disconnect handle?

As to how the feeder is wired, if you look at the second photo, you can see that the fuse box is right next to the main switch box and there is a short metal conduit that contains the wires between them. So you're saying that the grounding bushing goes around the outside of that metal conduit between boxes? And then the ground wire is attached to it.

If I get a new A/C disconnect, what is the advantage? I'm not quibbling over the $8 price, just wondering what advantage it would have over what's there now.
 
  #13  
Old 01-21-14, 04:12 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 6
Ray, the fuse box is not visible from the water heater. The water heater will be going into a trailer. The fuse box is located in a shop next door to the trailer. I don't think it's going to be feasible to put the disconnect beside the water heater--no space to mount it.

Sherry
 
  #14  
Old 01-21-14, 04:34 PM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 39,968
Aye carumba!!! You lost two electricians due to heart failure when they saw he cadeusus of wiring and violations in the main box! Sherry. Is there any way to consolidate your wiring into a breaker panel? I realize often there are monetary restrictions but for safety's sake consider it in your priorities.

Edison fuses are the ones you screw into the two sockets in the sub panel. They complete the connection in a protected manner from the bottom blades to be top ones. Without fuses, there is no connection.
 
  #15  
Old 01-21-14, 05:27 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,044
Neither the second picture with cartridge fuses or the first picture with Edison fuses is your main panel. Where is your main panel?

Example of a small fuse panel:
Name:  sm_fuse_box.JPG
Views: 5020
Size:  27.8 KB
Source: sdinspections.com/

Large:
Name:  IMG_4462.jpg
Views: 2222
Size:  47.2 KB
Source: nachi.org/
 

Last edited by ray2047; 01-21-14 at 07:42 PM.
  #16  
Old 01-21-14, 07:27 PM
CasualJoe's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 9,385
What a friggen mess! I am almost afraid to look at a picture of the main panel. I see so many things wrong with the pictures of the two disconnect switches that I forgot what the original question was.
 
  #17  
Old 01-21-14, 07:32 PM
pcboss's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Maryland
Posts: 14,587
The first panel shown is wired for 240 volts only. It does not contain a neutral.
 
  #18  
Old 01-22-14, 12:37 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 6
Ray, I misunderstood the question. Sorry. The main panel is in a house next door to the shop. It has circuit breakers.
 
  #19  
Old 01-22-14, 01:00 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,044
The main panel is in a house next door to the shop. It has circuit breakers.
Then you need to abandon the crap shown in the pictures and run a all new service from that panel to a subpanel, (breakers) in the shop. You then need to run a second service from there to a subpanel at the trailer. Water heater would be off the trailer subpanel.

Assumes the shop does not have a subpanel.
 
  #20  
Old 01-22-14, 02:00 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 6
Whew! Okay, Ray. We're over our heads here so we'll have to find someone to do this for us. Thank you, everyone, for your valuable input. We've learned some things here.

Sherry
 
  #21  
Old 01-22-14, 02:05 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,044
What we are proposing isn't that hard to do and we can walk you through it.
 
  #22  
Old 01-22-14, 03:03 PM
Nashkat1's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 8,470
Sherry,

Doing what Ray suggested isn't hard at all. It's not only safer, it's simpler and probably less expensive than fixing everything that needs to be fixed with the outdated and abused disconnects you have in the shed now.

And, as Ray said, we can walk you through it.
 
  #23  
Old 01-22-14, 04:08 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,044
I'm curious about what the electrical situation is in the shop. What electrical outlets (lights and receptacles) do you have in it? How is power supplied to them?
 
  #24  
Old 01-22-14, 05:22 PM
pcboss's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Maryland
Posts: 14,587
Hopefully it is not as bad as what was just shown.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes