Old Fuse Box - circuit still powered after fuse removed

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Old 04-23-17, 09:52 AM
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Old Fuse Box - circuit still powered after fuse removed

Good Afternoon Everyone.

My house is 65 years old and I think the fuse box in use is the original one from 1952.

When I removed the fuse that controls the juice to the bathroom, all appliances on this circuit flickered back and forth from on to off and back again to on. Remember all this flickering is with the fuse completely removed...i actually carried the fuse with me into the bathroom and the circuit remained powered for several minutes or so until i replaced the fuse back into the panel.

The female part of the fuse box (that the fuse screws into) is loose.

Do you think that this can be repaired, or does this mean it's time to replace the whole fuse box?
 
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Old 04-23-17, 10:05 AM
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You might as well replace the box & update the service. It's not up to code & you don't want a problem if you have to file an insurance claim, in the future.
 
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Old 04-23-17, 11:18 AM
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Thanks. Is there anything I can do that can make it safe for a few months in the meantime?
 
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Old 04-23-17, 11:34 AM
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Is there anything I can do that can make it safe for a few months in the meantime?
Be sure all fuses on 120 volt circuits are 15 amp. If you have a main cut off for the fuse box. Remove the wire from the problem fuse holder. Remove the wire from the least loaded 15 amp circuit. Connect the two wires to a pigtail and the pigtail to the fuse holder for the least loaded circuit.

If there is no main cut-off or main fuse then you will have to ask the power company to pull the meter while you make the changes. Do not try to pull the meter yourself.
 
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Old 04-23-17, 07:52 PM
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Any idea how much a licensed electrician would charge for a new circuit breaker panel and all the trimmings here in New York?
 
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Old 04-23-17, 09:47 PM
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$2000 .
 
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Old 04-24-17, 05:19 AM
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There are too many variables to give a price unseen over the web.
 
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Old 04-24-17, 06:32 AM
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Just to add if this is a house it would not be just the fuse box but usually the whole service up to where it connects to Con-Ed. In New York city the rules such as conduit no cable if applicable will further increase the cost.
 
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Old 04-24-17, 07:05 AM
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all appliances on this circuit flickered back and forth from on to off and back again to on.
I'd wonder whether you've got a multi-branch circuit, with more than one path for power.

It's supposed to be two hot wires (black) sharing the same neutral (white),
but it's possible that somebody tied two hot wires together somewhere.
 
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Old 04-24-17, 09:47 AM
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Good catch Hall. I have actually seen the voltage bleed through the insulation to a second circuit.
 
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Old 04-24-17, 03:22 PM
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And I've seen the conflict between 1950s bathroom wiring and women with 15 amp hair dryers
cause some desperate/creative wiring to keep from tripping the bathroom circuit breakers...
 
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Old 04-25-17, 03:09 AM
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Tommy, to prove or disprove Hal's theory remove the fuse from the suspect fuse holder and all the other 120 volt fuses. Add each of the fuses except in the suspect fuse holder back one at a time checking the bathroom for power after installing each fuse. If inserting a fuse into a fuse holder other than the suspect fuse holder also energizes the bathroom then you know it is due to crossed wires. You will then need to check every box on that circuit.
 
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Old 04-25-17, 08:48 AM
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to prove or disprove Hal's theory
Curious, why remove all fuses at once?

I would unplug all the appliances in the bathroom and turn out the lights,
plug a radio into a bathroom outlet, turn it up loud enough to hear from the basement.

Unscrew the bathroom fuse - radio should go off then come back on.
Leave bathroom fuse out, go through the rest of the fuses,
unscrew the fuse, if the radio keeps playing, then screw it back in.
When you unscrew a fuse and the radio stops, you have found a crosswired circuit.

If the radio doesn't come on, you'll have to check each plug of each bathroom outlet by plugging in the radio. Check for 1 bathroom outlet that's different from the rest.
Example one 3 prong grounded in a room where all the others are 2 prong...
 

Last edited by Hal_S; 04-25-17 at 09:11 AM.
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Old 04-25-17, 01:26 PM
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Hal, your method would work also.
 
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Old 04-26-17, 07:05 PM
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Thank you Ray and Hal. I hired a licensed electrician and installed all new Circuit Breakers. I did not get a chance to test if it was tied to a second circuit (yet). However, I will try and let you know if that is actually the case. I don't think it was the case because when I touched the old fuse holder with my voltmeter, i could see the back of the holder was loose and making contact with the thread part of the holder.

Thanks again for your time and expertise.

all the best...
 
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