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Old 08-01-2013, 10:54 AM   #1
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100amp fuse panel and ungrounded outlets


Neighbor wants advice on her older 100amp panel with plug fuses and 2wire outlets all over house..

I never re wired a house set up like this. I am guessing I can use GFI outlets and feed downstream and change the 2 prong outets to 3.

Its just a small 3 bedroom ranch and the basement ceiling is open where the panel is.

If it were my place I would think about re wiring the whole house with a new breaker panel and new wiring but I have never done much residential work.

Is it really more work than I am thinking it is to do this? I will admit that 2 of the rooms are above a garage which is finished plaster ceiling so access to the old wiring would require some extra work .

Would it be better to just put a new panel in and add a gfi breaker for each branch circuit and use the existing ungrounded wiring?

Any tips on options appreciated.
Neighbor wants advice on her older 100amp panel with plug fuses and 2wire outlets all over house..

I never re wired a house set up like this. I am guessing I can use GFI outlets and feed downstream and change the 2 prong outets to 3.

Its just a small 3 bedroom ranch and the basement ceiling is open where the panel is.

If it were my place I would think about re wiring the whole house with a new breaker panel and new wiring but I have never done much residential work.

Is it really more work than I am thinking it is to do this? I will admit that 2 of the rooms are above a garage which is finished plaster ceiling so access to the old wiring would require some extra work .

Would it be better to just put a new panel in and add a gfi breaker for each branch circuit and use the existing ungrounded wiring?

Any tips on options appreciated.

Neighbor wants advice on her older 100amp panel with plug fuses and 2wire outlets all over house..

I never re wired a house set up like this. I am guessing I can use GFI outlets and feed downstream and change the 2 prong outets to 3.

Its a small 3 bedroom ranch and the basement ceiling is open where the 100amp panel is.

If it were my place I would think about re wiring the whole house with a new breaker panel and new wiring but I have never done much residential work.

Is it really more work than I am thinking it is to do this? I will admit that 2 of the rooms are above a garage which is finished plaster ceiling so access to the old wiring would require some extra work .

Would it be better to just put a new panel in and add a gfi breaker for each branch circuit and use the existing ungrounded wiring?

Any tips on options appreciated.

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Old 08-01-2013, 10:56 AM   #2
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100amp fuse panel and ungrounded outlets


Are you licensed and insured to do electrical work?

If not, stay away from it.
No good deed goes unpunished!

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Last edited by jbfan; 08-01-2013 at 11:04 AM.
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Old 08-01-2013, 11:30 AM   #3
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100amp fuse panel and ungrounded outlets


Quote:
Originally Posted by DIY Bronner View Post
Neighbor wants advice on her older 100amp panel with plug fuses and 2wire outlets all over house..
She wants advice or she wants you to fix it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DIY Bronner View Post
I never re wired a house set up like this. I am guessing I can use GFI outlets and feed downstream and change the 2 prong outets to 3.
Yeah, you could do that. It's an okay fix for an outlet or two but not ideal.

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Originally Posted by DIY Bronner View Post
If it were my place I would think about re wiring the whole house with a new breaker panel and new wiring but I have never done much residential work.
I would think about that too -- but I wouldn't do a whole house for someone else, unless they were into doing the work and you just helping. You can work on your own home but not theirs and if something ever happened I would not want that liability.

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Originally Posted by DIY Bronner View Post
Is it really more work than I am thinking it is to do this? I will admit that 2 of the rooms are above a garage which is finished plaster ceiling so access to the old wiring would require some extra work.
It's a ton of work... but for a homeowner who likes improving and doing this sort of thing it could be considered a ton of enjoyment. If they're not into it then it's just a ton of expense. So it all depends on that owner.

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Originally Posted by DIY Bronner View Post
Would it be better to just put a new panel in and add a gfi breaker for each branch circuit and use the existing ungrounded wiring?
No. New panel / old wiring? Don't see any benefit there. The issue driving this is the lack of comprehensive grounding system so doing half is pointless.

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Originally Posted by DIY Bronner View Post
Any tips on options appreciated.
It's all great if you like to do that and it's your house. If this person is asking for advice and is not the DIY type then the GFCI to fix a couple outlets is probly going to be best. Buy the 3-pack at Home Depot and be done.
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Old 08-01-2013, 11:56 AM   #4
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100amp fuse panel and ungrounded outlets


Quote:
Originally Posted by DIY Bronner View Post
Neighbor wants advice on her older 100amp panel
with plug fuses and 2wire outlets all over house..
Any tips on options appreciated.
100A is plenty for most houses.
Fuses work well enough.
Ungrounded outlets work too.

Is something broken?
Is some need not being met?
If not... LITFA

So... is there some actual complaint?
Or this all just some nebulous "gee, this sure is old so it must be bad" thinking?

again... LITFA

Last edited by TarheelTerp; 08-01-2013 at 12:00 PM.
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Old 08-01-2013, 01:01 PM   #5
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100amp fuse panel and ungrounded outlets


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Originally Posted by TarheelTerp View Post
100A is plenty for most houses.
Fuses work well enough.
Ungrounded outlets work too.

Is something broken?
Is some need not being met?
If not... LITFA

So... is there some actual complaint?
Or this all just some nebulous "gee, this sure is old so it must be bad" thinking?

again... LITFA
That's such an unexpected response! If it meets basic function then just leave it alone, don't bother investigating things that might be better... Totally not my view. I think he's asking the pros-and-cons questions that a homeowner should ask and talk about w his neighbors and on a DIY forum.
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Old 08-01-2013, 01:41 PM   #6
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100amp fuse panel and ungrounded outlets


Quote:
Originally Posted by SquishyBall View Post
That's such an unexpected response!
Especially in a DIY site filled with contractors huh?
Still.... I'm sticking.

Quote:
If it meets basic function (and no one is complaining of a fault or inadequacy) then just leave it alone...
Yeah... that's pretty much it.

Quote:
...don't bother investigating things that might be better...
Has anyone articulated anything that would be "better"?
I've seen different and additional mentioned... but not better.

To repeat:
Is something broken?
Is some need not being met?

If not... LITFA
If so... well, cross that bridge if/when we get there.
---
In the last week alone I've seen 3 threads where HO's were gung-ho to tear up 100 year old plaster and tear out perfectly fine wiring because they thought that all R's must have 3 slots and be grounded. Where do you suppose they get such ideas?

Your suggestions were modest and similar to what I would suggest in the second round of discussion. I just don't like to start with "fixes" until I hear what the actual "problem" is. So far there is no problem described and no need even for the GFI get-by (which I really don't like).

Maybe the OP and the actual homeowner will report back?


Last edited by TarheelTerp; 08-01-2013 at 01:50 PM.
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