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Old fuse box - want to remove 2 wires, and cover remaining wires

Old fuse box - want to remove 2 wires, and cover remaining wires

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  #1  
Old 02-04-19, 08:46 PM
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Old fuse box - want to remove 2 wires, and cover remaining wires

I have a fuse box that's old. I can't close the door all the way, because there are two black wires that were installed incorrectly, and are routed over the top 'lip' of the fuse box.

This is the front, with label 'WADSWORTH':
https://photos.google.com/share/AF1Q...FFQ1RWX1JBa1p3

The inside cover is also missing, which is why all the wires are seen in my pics.

Here is the entire fuse box picture:
https://photos.google.com/share/AF1Q...FFQ1RWX1JBa1p3

This is a close up of the upper right corner. The two black wires are screwed into the 3rd and 4th screws.
https://photos.google.com/share/AF1Q...FFQ1RWX1JBa1p3

The diagram has on the box says this part is the RANGE:
https://photos.google.com/share/AF1Q...FFQ1RWX1JBa1p3

I think those two wires might be running to an outlet in the kitchen that could have at one time been for an electric stove. (It's a gas stove now).

If I pull the main fuse, and by that I mean the black box on the right side with the handle on it, would that de-energize those 2 black wires?

If I put a meter lean on either black wire, where would I touch the other meter lead to test for 120 volts? Could I touch the 2nd meter lead to the bare silver wires that are bunched up behind the 3rd and 4th screws, that appear to me, to be the neutral wires? (Or is the copper wire running down the left side of the box the ground wire, and can I touch that with the 3nd multimeter lead?

--------

Also, where could I locate, or how could I make, a panel to cover those wires and still allow access to the fuses. (I was thinking perhaps of using some aluminum siding material). Any ideas?
 
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  #2  
Old 02-04-19, 08:56 PM
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Fuse box

Pull out the main fuses and you'll be ok. Test wire to neutral bar.
 
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Old 02-04-19, 09:14 PM
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So, I need to pull both the MAIN FUSE pack, and the RANGE FUSE pack?

The NEUTRAL BAR would be the terminal screws, in the upper right corner, where the silver (aluminum?) wires are attached?

Does RANGE actually mean the OVEN?
 
  #4  
Old 02-04-19, 09:17 PM
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There are enough safety problems there that you should be getting an electrician in to clean things up. Most likely will want to replace the panel.
 
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Old 02-05-19, 04:36 AM
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Hi, it looks like there is a cable that was chopped off above that fuse pull out that was the range, pull the main block on the left then check for voltage between the screw terminals at the fuses to ground and neutral, keep in mind that the cable on the top left will always be HOT as long as the meter is in place, what size fuses are in that fuse pull out on the right?
Geo
 
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Old 02-05-19, 04:54 AM
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Pull the fuse block by the handle and you will be safe to remove those wires. It's good thing because they look melt from over fusing.
 
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Old 02-05-19, 08:27 AM
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You badly need an entire new service with a modern circuit breaker panel and upgraded grounding.
 
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Old 02-05-19, 12:33 PM
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When you say "check for voltage between the screw terminals at the fuses to ground and neutral" do you mean as in this photo? (red arrow(screw terminal) and black arrow(ground bar screw)?

https://photos.google.com/share/AF1Q...FFQ1RWX1JBa1p3

Could I also test from the screw terminal above the RANGE box (blue arrow) to the NEUTRAL terminal screw (green arrow)

https://photos.google.com/share/AF1Q...FFQ1RWX1JBa1p3

I'll let you know what size cartridge fuses are int he pullout once I get to the fuse box...
 
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Old 02-05-19, 12:36 PM
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Could I also test from the screw terminal above the RANGE box (blue arrow) to the NEUTRAL terminal screw (green arrow)
Yes.... from both screw terminals above range pullout.

There are two circuits connected to the range pullout. The black wires you want to remove and a second cable. When you remove the pullout you'll see where that second cables feeds.

You have another issue with that lowest blue fuse on the left side. It looks like there is a bare powered wire in the bottom of the pan.
 
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Old 02-05-19, 12:37 PM
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I think that is the electrical tape on one of the black wires above the RANGE block. If they do go to the range outlet in the kitchen, they have not been used in like 30 years, at least, I'm guessing.

I need to verify that these are going to the kitchen range outlet. Is there an easy way to do that other than testing for voltage at the outlet both before, and after, I disconnect those wires?
 

Last edited by mnalep; 02-05-19 at 01:28 PM.
  #11  
Old 02-05-19, 12:43 PM
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Yes..... you'd need to check right at the receptacle.
Keep in mind you need to locate that second circuit connected there. It looks like the only new white NM cable so it shouldn't be too hard to trace.
 
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Old 02-05-19, 12:47 PM
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I do see there is a 2nd black wire on the 4th screw above the range pullout, and a white wire on the 3rd screw (for another circuit). Why would one be white? Is it simply a mistake use of a white wire? I am guessing that can't be a neutral wire?

Do you mean the short (maybe 1" length of bare copper wire under/near the first blue fuse? I had not noticed that until you just mentioned it. I wonder of that is just a scrap piece laying there? It's hard to tell from my picture. I'll look at it more closely 'in person' and let you know.
 
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Old 02-05-19, 12:53 PM
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Understood about the cables from meter always being hot. Thank you.

What makes you think the CUT CABLE was going to the kitchen range outlet? The size?

If that was the kitchen range, then I need to keep the other two black wires attached, to power whatever circuit it's being used for. And I don't know yet?

If I need to keep them, can I reroute them through the knockout on the side of the box? Or pull that cut cable out the top and then route the two black wires through the space left when I pull the cut cable out? Does it matter?
 
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Old 02-05-19, 01:02 PM
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You have a mess on your hands and quite frankly...... you're lucky you haven't had any shorts or you would not be writing about it.

You cannot run just two conductors to ANY electrical appliance. Running two wires like that insures that there is NO ground at the appliance. That can be deadly with a 240v electric range. Those two single black wires should be replaced with a proper cable.

You'll probably find 50A fuses in the range pullout which would mean that white NM cable is greatly overfused. My guess is that white cable may be for either an electric dryer or hot water heater.
 
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Old 02-05-19, 01:09 PM
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I would intend to leave that 2nd circuit in place. I don't know where it goes even.

I may need to leave the two black wires attached also if they do not feed the unused kitchen range outlet (and reroute them into the box so that I can close the door).

I just made that assumption the 2 black wires fed the kitchen range outlet based on the fact that they are above the range pullout.

But then another poster noticed the cut cable, and thinks that cut cable was the feed to the old range outlet?

Since I see 4 wires coming off the two screws above the range pullout, does that mean I am feeding 4 circuits from them?

Are both the screw terminals above the range pullout HOT? I ask because that white NM cable on the upper left has 3 wires...a bare ground, and a white that goes to the 3rd screw (above range pullout), and a black that appears to go to the 4th screw(above range pullout). Is that 3rd screw neutral, and the 4th one hot? I thought both screw terminals were hot?
 
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Old 02-05-19, 01:40 PM
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I am going to move the current gas stove, and then test that kitchen outlet for power (It's mounted on the floor, behind the stove). If it has no power, then I need to keep the circuits, and reroute the wires into the box.

I'll let you know what kind size cartridges are in fuse pullout.

I do not have either an electric dryer, or an electric water tank. (No electric oven either, but I mentioned that already).

I am still confused by the white and back wire coming from the white NM cable....Are not both the screw terminals above the range pullout HOT? Why does that white NM cable show a white wire going to one screw above the range pullout, and black wire going to the other screw above the range pullout?
 
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Old 02-05-19, 01:57 PM
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That white cable is feeding a 240v appliance or device.
The two terminals above the range pullout yield 240v.

Possibly for an A/C receptacle ?
 
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Old 02-05-19, 01:57 PM
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The small gauge wires are a 240 feed to something but if #12 need 20 amp protection or if #10 30 amp protection.
 
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Old 02-05-19, 04:01 PM
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OK, now I finally get what your saying. The white wire is also hot, like the black wire is, and they are carrying a combined 240 volts.

There is an AC unit. Although it has not been functional for at least 15 years. Maybe that is where that 240v cable goes? I'll try see.

There is also a sub panel. I'm not sure how it is fed from the fuse box. I'll look.
 
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Old 02-05-19, 04:11 PM
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Thanks for the graphic.

I don't see any markings on the 240 lines. Could I use a wire stripper, and place it around the copper cable, to see it's gauge. Would the black/white wires match the gauge of the bare copper wire?

Also, which fuses do you mean are linked to the 240 line? The two that are just below the range pullout?
 
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Old 02-05-19, 04:12 PM
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Hi, the cable I mentioned that appears to be cut above the range pull out was probably going to the old range receptacle,you must replace those 2 black taped conductors!!!,
Geo
 
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Old 02-05-19, 05:09 PM
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Could I use a wire stripper, and place it around the copper cable, to see it's gauge
On the stripped wire probably.
Would the black/white wires match the gauge of the bare copper wire?.
Yes for #10 or smaller. Larger than #10 no
which fuses do you mean are linked to the 240 line? The two that are just below the range pullout?
Not sure what you mean. The two fuses in the left pull-out are the fuses that protect the whole panel.
 
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Old 02-05-19, 08:16 PM
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What I meant was, you had said, "The small gauge wires are a 240 feed to something but if #12 need 20 amp protection or if #10 30 amp protection. ".

I was asking which fuses you were referring to that had to be 20 amp, or 30 amp, because It's not clear to me which 'branch circuit fuses' (round glass fuses) protect the wires coming out the top of the fuse box, above the MAIN pullout, and the RANGE/STOVE pullout.

So, if the ground is not a #10, how else can I determine what the gauge of the wires are?
 
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Old 02-05-19, 08:23 PM
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which fuses you were referring to that had to be 20 amp, or 30 amp, because It's not clear to me which 'branch circuit fuses' (round glass fuses) protect the wires coming out the top of the fuse box,
None of the edison base fuses protect the wires into the stove fuses. It is protected by the stove cartridge fuses which could be as great as 60 amp. (There is no connection between the stove cartridge fuses and the Edison base fuses. [The stove pull out contains cartridge fuses.])
 
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Last edited by ray2047; 02-05-19 at 08:43 PM.
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Old 02-05-19, 10:26 PM
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Ahh... So you are saying the Cartridge fuses, in the stove pullout, should be 20 amp, or 30 amp, depending on the wire size?

How can I determine the wire size if I can't find markings on the cable?
 
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Old 02-05-19, 10:42 PM
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Go to the hardware store and buy a foot of #14, #12, and #10 THWN/THHN wire. Strip an inch or so of insulation off each sampel.

Pull the fuse holder on the right and check the fuse size.

Before you put the fuse holder back in pull one of the NM cable wires and compare it to your samples. (Fuse holder out wires should be dead but always good practice the check with a multimeter or test light.)
 

Last edited by ray2047; 02-05-19 at 11:01 PM.
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Old 02-06-19, 01:30 AM
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Even money says whoever wired this figured 20 amp for the NM and 30 amp (subpanel?) for the black wires equals 50 amp, so the range fuse works! Lol....
 
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Old 02-06-19, 04:12 AM
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Hi, I doubt 30 Amp 250 V fuses would fit in that pull out, (to small physically)
Geo
 
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Old 02-06-19, 08:38 AM
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That's a good idea. I had to google what THWN/THHN is, and it is multi-strand cable.

I was wondering why you suggested comparing THWN/THHN to NM, instead of buying some NM to use for comparison to the NM?
 
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Old 02-06-19, 09:12 AM
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I had to google what THWN/THHN is, and it is multi-strand cable
Not cable. It is wire. In the sizes I suggested get solid not stranded.

If you can not find solid yes, just get NM cable and remove one of the wires.

Cable is two or more wires in a metallic or non metallic sheath,
 
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Old 02-06-19, 10:46 AM
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OK, I got it.

What happened was, when I googled THWN/THHN - all the images came up as multistrand wiring. From that, I just figured that is what THWN/THHN was. Since it't not, I now know to look for it at the store.

Thank you.
 
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Old 02-06-19, 11:01 AM
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When I was looking for an image I was surprised how many were stranded. I have always used solid and just wasn't as specific as I should have been.
 
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Old 02-06-19, 12:06 PM
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Is there somewhere I might find a cover for the inside of this fuse box. I've tried google, and ebay, but no luck. (the label on it says it is a Wadsworth. Cat No. 60MR6. The inside schematic says : Part no: 9648)

The fuse box still has the outer door on it, but whoever added those 2 black wires that are routed over the outer lip of the box, instead of routing them through a punch out, must have tossed that inner cover away! I've looked around in the basement for it, but can't find it. I'd like to find a replacement, inner cover, or even make one if I can,
 
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Old 02-06-19, 01:12 PM
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No, no one is likely to have a cover. aybe a salvage yard but unlikely. I'd suggest just mounting a 100a breaker panel next to it and move everything over to it. The stove fuse block could be used to power it.
 
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Old 02-06-19, 04:25 PM
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Well, this is a 2 family flat, and there already is another fuse box next to this one.

https://photos.google.com/share/AF1Q...FFQ1RWX1JBa1p3
 
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Old 02-06-19, 05:48 PM
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Well, this is a 2 family flat

Do you own the building or do you rent the flat? The Wadsworth fuse box is at least 50 years old and really needs to be replaced along with the meter socket and the 50 year old cloth covered service cable, but this would be the owner's responsibility. I'd like to see some pictures of the service from the outside. I would be extremely surprised if the cloth covering on the service cable is still completely intact.
 
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Old 02-06-19, 06:49 PM
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Yes, I own this. I can take some pictures of the outside. WHen you say meter socket do you mean the outside meter?

I wouldn't mind upgrading this, but I'd need to learn more about doing that first. I know a little, but wold like to understand the entire process. In the meantime I plan to try to get this in a better condition. I'll learn by doing, and build some confidence while working on it,
 
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Old 02-06-19, 07:37 PM
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I'd be surprised if Detroit didn't require a licensed electrician for any multi family dwelling especially if at least one apartment is a rental. Given the liability you probably shouldn't do any work on the electric.
 
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Old 02-06-19, 07:54 PM
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Understood. I'm actually in a suburb of Detroit. My neighbor actually replaced his fuse box himself, without any issues. I wish I would have gotten his help while I had the chance, but he's moved away. Maybe I will hold off putting in a new box for now, until I learn more. Although I do think with the knowledge on this site I could be walked through it. But I do want to move those two black wires now so I can completely close the fuse box door. And look around for an old cover for the inside if I can find one.
 
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Old 02-06-19, 09:36 PM
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I do want to move those two black wires now
That has already been explained. What other questions about it did you have?
 
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