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Old 12-08-2013, 11:33 AM   #1
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100 AMP Fuse Blowing on Service Disconnect on One Phase


1982 house recently started overloading the 100amp service disconnect fuse outside. First time all the lights flickered in parts of the house and everything went off that was on that phase. A guy came out, and replaced the two fuses (originals were 200amp, now 100amp) and problem reoccurred after a few days.

None of the breakers are tripping inside the garage on the breaker panel. Only the one side is affected there are two 100amp fuses, and as you can see from the photo, the rights side is getting hot. Initially everyone suspected an open short on the compressor, however I have that breaker turned off, and also have the service disconnect to the OFF position for the outside heat pump.

This morning the inside emergency heat was running, and she was using the stove at the same time and it went down again.

One time it was triggered by using a hair dryer as well.



Thanks in advance for your feedback. I plan on having another electrician come out, however I want to be armed with knowledge this time so I don't get taken advantage of.


Last edited by actormike; 12-10-2013 at 09:33 AM.
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Old 12-08-2013, 11:45 AM   #2
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100 AMP Fuse Blowing on Service Disconnect on One Phase


When you say it's getting hot it would lead me to believe that the either there is a loose connection, or the clip the holds the fuse is getting weak and making a bad connection, or the clip that receives the pullout tab is weak. There is even some discoloration there.

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Old 12-08-2013, 12:31 PM   #3
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100 AMP Fuse Blowing on Service Disconnect on One Phase


.........

Last edited by Anti-wingnut; 12-08-2013 at 12:32 PM. Reason: Thought I was at CT
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Old 12-08-2013, 12:45 PM   #4
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100 AMP Fuse Blowing on Service Disconnect on One Phase


It seems to only heat up when drawing 220v current, that's why I've been trying to narrow down something that may be a short. Could it just be the meter box or a combination of two problems that cause the clips etc to overheat.

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When you say it's getting hot it would lead me to believe that the either there is a loose connection, or the clip the holds the fuse is getting weak and making a bad connection, or the clip that receives the pullout tab is weak. There is even some discoloration there.
Speaking of clips, the utlity company pulled the meter, and I took this photo. The electrician said you can't just buy the meter clips, you have to replace the whole meter, which is going to be a pain because it's a PUD and has a dual meter box with two meters in in big box.



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Old 12-08-2013, 12:57 PM   #5
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100 AMP Fuse Blowing on Service Disconnect on One Phase


The electrician is correct.
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Old 12-08-2013, 02:30 PM   #6
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100 AMP Fuse Blowing on Service Disconnect on One Phase


What KW is your emergency heat?
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Old 12-08-2013, 02:46 PM   #7
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100 AMP Fuse Blowing on Service Disconnect on One Phase


Looks to me like the connection was loose. When you draw a lot of current. The current is not an overload but the loose connection heats up because it is loose.

I think the electrician is correct you need to replace the meter pan.
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Old 12-08-2013, 03:36 PM   #8
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100 AMP Fuse Blowing on Service Disconnect on One Phase


That place is older than the 1980's. The place may have been rehabbed in the 80's, but that wiring is older. I would probably say close to 50-60 years.

Until you fix the problems, most likely will have to replace the main panel and meter, along with feed from the POCO transformer, they are not going to reconnect you back to their service.

I would not even hook up a gender, to that system in the building, until an electrician clears it as okay. That will mean the electrician maybe using a Member, to check for any insulation breakdown, for on the meter to the panel, if they do not replace that wiring.

Personally, I would just replace everything from on the POCO feed, to the panels, including the panels.
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Old 12-08-2013, 04:20 PM   #9
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100 AMP Fuse Blowing on Service Disconnect on One Phase


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That place is older than the 1980's. The place may have been rehabbed in the 80's, but that wiring is older. I would probably say close to 50-60 years.\
I have a friend who is an electrician but he's in Tampa, he said the problem is likely between the breaker panel, and the meter which is why the breakers are not tripping. He recommended inspecting the wire between the breaker and the meter which is in a conduit. He said the wire looked like it was aluminum as well.

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Old 12-08-2013, 04:37 PM   #10
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100 AMP Fuse Blowing on Service Disconnect on One Phase


Aluminum wiring has nothing to do with it. Only way to find the problem, is to have an electrician, that will use a Megger, to verify any insulation breakdown.

That main disconnect predates the 80's. There is no way, that it is from the time period that the structure was built.

It also appears to be a multi-tennant structure, not a single family residence. Update with your location in your profile.
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Old 12-08-2013, 04:59 PM   #11
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100 AMP Fuse Blowing on Service Disconnect on One Phase


Quote:
Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post
Aluminum wiring has nothing to do with it. Only way to find the problem, is to have an electrician, that will use a Megger, to verify any insulation breakdown.

That main disconnect predates the 80's. There is no way, that it is from the time period that the structure was built.

It also appears to be a multi-tennant structure, not a single family residence. Update with your location in your profile.
Yes it's a PUD there are two units Tennessee. Disconnect may pre-date the 80's but the house was built in 1989. I just pulled the real estate assessment data to confirm.

Replacing the wire in the conduit and replacing the Meter Pan should resolve the problem shouldn't it?

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Old 12-08-2013, 05:14 PM   #12
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100 AMP Fuse Blowing on Service Disconnect on One Phase


Quote:
Originally Posted by actormike View Post
Yes it's a PUD there are two units Tennessee. Disconnect may pre-date the 80's but the house was built in 1989. I just pulled the real estate assessment data to confirm.

Replacing the wire in the conduit and replacing the Meter Pan should resolve the problem shouldn't it?
Never trust the Real Estate paperwork. Always go by the County Assessor information on the land.

As for replacing the wiring, it will take more than that, since you need to hire a real electrician, that knows how to use a Letter, to first determine if it was just a bad meter pan, or breakdown of insulation.

The megger will verify if the insulation has broken down, the visual inspection by the electrician, will state the same thing we have stated here.
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Old 12-08-2013, 05:33 PM   #13
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100 AMP Fuse Blowing on Service Disconnect on One Phase


Did a little more digging, the house was built in 1982 and the toilet was stamped 1981. I realize it could have been remodeled, however the house just doesn't pre date that time. It does raise a question why it has such old electrical disconnects. It still had 200amp fuses too.

A guy that rents houses bought the one next door he confirmed the age and knew the back story on the sub division etc.


PS thanks for your feedback!

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Old 12-08-2013, 05:40 PM   #14
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100 AMP Fuse Blowing on Service Disconnect on One Phase


Why it has the older disconnects, most likely whomever wired that structure, had it laying around and used it, so that they could cut costs.
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Old 12-09-2013, 02:57 PM   #15
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100 AMP Fuse Blowing on Service Disconnect on One Phase


DO NOT KEEP USING THIS INSTALATION !
That contact needs to be replaced !
There is no confusion on this point !
As for why ?
The electrician will have to check with his proper testing instruments !
We can only guess !

JUST DO IT !!!

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