Issues with old fuse box

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Old 09-12-17, 04:17 PM
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Issues with old fuse box

Ok, I am experiencing an outage on outlets on a fuse breaker - so I took a multimeter & tested the wires coming into the fuse breaker's & they beep letting me know power is on them. Expect one & it's on the left-hand side top fuse breaker shown in the image w/ the handle pulled shown in the image.

I have changed all the suspected outlets w/ new ones, which didn't fix the issue, however, they needed to be changed anyhow as when something was pulled in them they lose.

So now here is the big question for everyone here, has anyone seen this type of fuse breaker setup? I was thinking maybe I can pull this top section which only held their w/ about 4 screws & loosen the ground wire to get it pulled off.

So any advice on what I should do? Again I checked power w/ the multimeter & I would get a beeping sound on all the wires except the one mentioned & I do know it controls outlets in the room that currently has no working outlets.

Do anyone also know if I can just purchase this new block new & just simply replace?
 
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Old 09-12-17, 04:37 PM
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So now here is the big question for everyone here, has anyone seen this type of fuse breaker setup?
It's just a fuse panel. There are no breakers involved.
The last time I was involved in a fuse setup that old the insurance company had ordered its replacement. There is no ground in that box. Those wires you want to remove are common buss power wires. The white wire feeds the neutral fuses and the black wire feeds the hot fuses.

You have almost all 30A fuses on Knob &Tube wiring. That is not a good thing. Most, if not all K&T wiring is #14 and should be fused at 15A.

Each pair of fuses is one 120VAC circuit. There is no 240VAC there. You need a meter to check for neutral and power at the same time.

That fuse panel and K&T wiring should really be considered for replacement.
 
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Last edited by PJmax; 09-12-17 at 04:57 PM.
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Old 09-12-17, 04:50 PM
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Yep replace the fuses with 15Amp ones ASAP Stat Pronto etc Lol!
I believe a 15A fuse is Blue while a 20A one is red and green is a 30A fuse as you may already know
 
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Old 09-12-17, 05:09 PM
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Ok I can get those replaced tomorrow do you think that would be OK? Now in regards to checking this, if I didn't get a sound of no power at all maybe I was testing wrong. So I think personally tho that its still bad but I could be wrong.

What would I replace that w/? & what type of box could I change this too? Would it be a simple re-wire into another panel or?

Also, I forgot to mention this fuse panel is upstairs & power is fed from down in the basement from a 200amp breaker box but the live power feed is hooked on a 20amp breaker.

So would just updating to a small breaker box work & not have to update existing wire as that would call a full-scale job that cannot budget right now. So also what would I need to do to replace those sockets or whatever it is behind that fuse panel?
 

Last edited by joshua_; 09-12-17 at 05:15 PM. Reason: need to add info
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Old 09-12-17, 05:16 PM
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The service all the way to the power company is probably so old it is not a good idea to reuse even if rated for 100 amps. You therefore are talking a completely new service. Is the fuse box in a basement, on the outside of the house or where? Do you have another panel before the meter?

I checked power w/ the multimeter & I would get a beeping sound on all the wires except the one mentioned
Do you really mean multimeter? Never saw one that beeped but a lot I haven't seen.
 
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Old 09-12-17, 05:17 PM
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Yeah I updated my post as I forgot to mention that. I have a 200amp service in the basement & a 20amp power fed upto the fuse panel for main power.
 
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Old 09-12-17, 05:25 PM
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& a 20amp power fed upto the fuse panel for main power.
Was that a typo? The fuse panel should be on more than that. Is the 200 amp service a breaker box. Please post pictures. How far is it from the fuse panel?
 
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Old 09-12-17, 05:28 PM
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It's a 20 amp breaker in the circuit breaker box that is from the basement up to the second floor of the home that supplies power up to the fuse panel upstairs.
 
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Old 09-12-17, 05:36 PM
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It's a 20 amp breaker in the circuit breaker box that is from the basement up to the second floor of the home that supplies power up to the fuse panel upstair
You're going to need to replace the feed to the location of the fuse panel with 3-3-3-5 copper SER cable. You will need a 100 amp main lug panel* to replace the fuse box. You will need a 100 amp breaker to feed the new subpanel.

*A 100 amp main breaker panel kit which comes with an assortment of breakers may be cheaper than a main lug panel and can be used instead of a main lug panel.
 
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Old 09-12-17, 05:45 PM
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Ok I just really wanted to get this working for the time being it was doing really well until now. So let's say worse case I need to just swap this out. I do have a few question & they are notated below.

1). Lets talk about the wiring first, that feeds from the basement breaker panel upto the fuse panel, would be hard to ties those wires w/ the new one & string it & re-thread it w/ the new wiring? To not have to bust holes in the wall, what is the best method here?

2). I purchase this new 100amp panel, as you can see from the wiring here, can I use all the existing through the house & just ties those white & black wires into new breakers?


I may get a professional to look into this for me as this may be my best option; but I want to get a clear understanding what I am getting into so I know what I am dealing w/ when I bring a professional out & they don't try to take advantage of someone that doesn't know nothing.
 
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Old 09-12-17, 06:12 PM
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It's actually pretty coincidental. I worked in a very old estate where a new owner was coming in. That estate had the same exact fuse panel you have. It was fed from a basement panel with an old 60A cloth covered cable. The entire second floor and parts of the third floor were wired in knob and tube. The insurance company only covered the house while it was in reconstruction. They would not write a standard policy until all the K&T wiring was replaced with current type cable and the fuse panel was replaced with a circuit breaker panel. The price for the work was very high. We worked with a carpenter crew to open the walls and floors for the new cabling.

You cannot pull in new wiring with the old wiring as it will be fastened in the wall.
By code..... you cannot modify/upgrade old wiring without bringing it up to code which means you can't install a new breaker panel on that old wiring.

Did you check the output of the two fuses for 120vac ?
 
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Old 09-12-17, 06:25 PM
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I am not currently at that house at the moment is another one of my places. Again this worked very well for the most part of the last 10+ years - everything seems to work well. Expect this one slot as it seems to get tricky at times. There isn't much that gets used on these upstairs outlets just a flat screen in 2 of the rooms, the other room is got a flat panel that gets used when guest are over.

Now in regards to this panel, lets focus on getting this resolved for now if I can, & maybe visit the replacement soon as money would be needed & I jsut got done doing a huge heating upgrade & I just gotta wait. So any help getting this resolved would be great.

So lets assume there isn't any power on this section, what would I need to do to replace that, after removing that block panel - is the fuse sockets sperate from the panel itself? Also would you happen to have the old box that you would part on?
 
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Old 09-12-17, 06:33 PM
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Install new receptacles from the 200 amp panel and abandon the defective receptacles may be your best option.

Note: You can not connect the new cable to any existing K&T.
 
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Old 09-12-17, 06:39 PM
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The fuse blocks are separate from each other. I didn't get that old panel as it really had no value to me. You would not find that block available new in a supply house. You may find one on eBay.
 
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Old 09-12-17, 06:43 PM
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Ok, I figured they would come out sperate I just wasn't sure. Ok, when I pull the white cover off I am going to suspect I am going to find a double fuse socket that I must take off, could a wire have come loose I have never opened this panel, so any advice would be greatly appreciated.
 
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Old 09-12-17, 07:13 PM
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Given just a 20 amp line (12 gauge) from the new main panel in the basement up to this fuse box you cannot take advantage of a new 100 amp panel upstairs without stringing a new, perhaps 4 or 6 gauge, cable.

Have you tried swapping the fuses in the upper left block with one of the other blocks to see if it is just the fuses that are blown?


If all you need to do is re-energize the dead circuit for the next few weeks y ou can remove the circuit wires from the dead block and double them up on the block below. Also remove the black wire from the terminal in the next block and connect a short black wire (a pigtail) to that terminal. Connect the two loose black circuit wires to the other end of the pigtail. Repeat for the white wire going to the other fuse.

Since the total number of amperes coming to the fuse box cannot exceed 20 there is no disadvantage (for now) doubling up circuit wires on one pair of fuses

The fuse box was probably the original main panel. When the 200 amp panel was installed it was common back then to run a feeder from one breaker set in the new main panel over to the top of the fuse box. Then circuits can be moved one at a time at leisure to new breakers in the new panel (splice on a length of new cable to reach) and finally abandon the fuse box.
 

Last edited by AllanJ; 09-12-17 at 07:33 PM.
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Old 09-12-17, 07:20 PM
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Thanks for the reply, Yes I have tried swapping the fuses out & even purchase new ones & popped them in there & all of the blocks work expect the one in question in the upper left-hand top block.

My thoughts were maybe the sockets are bad?
 
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Old 09-12-17, 09:38 PM
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Just forget trying to fix it. Call a good electrician and pay him lots of money. That'll be a lot cheaper than calling the fire dept.
 
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Old 09-15-17, 06:11 PM
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Yeah, I have called an electric guy, they are booked but got me on a schedule at some point to take a look & hopefully fix the issue & do some recommendation for changing the box upstairs w/ a breaker type system.

So in the meantime, I took a volt meter & put it on around up to 200V & did some testing on the wires I am getting 123.5 consistently through the box expects the one in question which only gets 1V, so my hopes are this is going to be around a 1K to 2K fix to swap out. If something more major is wrong I am looking at a 15K to 20K re-wire job!
 
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