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Old 11-07-2013, 03:35 AM   #1
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Fuses to Breakers


Can anyone tell me how to determine what size breakers to purchase? This is so I can get my electrician moving on the project at hand.

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Old 11-07-2013, 04:12 AM   #2
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Fuses to Breakers


If your "electrician" does not know what size breakers, you need to find a real electrician.

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Old 11-07-2013, 04:35 AM   #3
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Fuses to Breakers


You should not be buying parts for a proper electrician---this knowledge is why you hire a pro.

Is this 'electrician' a schooled and experienced pro with a license?
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Old 11-07-2013, 05:18 AM   #4
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Fuses to Breakers


Get the big ones.
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Old 11-07-2013, 06:33 AM   #5
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Fuses to Breakers


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Can anyone tell me how to determine what size breakers to purchase?
Once you get beyond 15A for #14 and 20A for #12 many factors come into play. We would need to know the specs of all attached equipment and length of run. From that we determine wire size and then breaker size.

Specs
1 nameplate
Or
2 volts and watts or volts and amps
Or
3 horsepower of motor
And
4 maximum length of time item is in use

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This is so I can get my electrician moving on the project at hand.
If your sparky is blowing you off or giving you the runaround, especially over something so basic, he rally doesn't want to do the job. Even if he starts you'll probably be chasing him to finish. Get yourself three more estimates. Pick someone with his head in a better place.
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Old 11-07-2013, 07:28 AM   #6
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Get the big ones.
Bigger is better....right?

And yes, I know you are joking.

Last edited by brric; 11-07-2013 at 08:15 AM.
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Old 11-07-2013, 09:31 AM   #7
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Fuses to Breakers


Duh, I missed the title.

Read the wire size on the insulation.

Or

Get yourself a cheap wire stripper. Turn off all power. Close the strippers. Poke the stripped end of the wires through the holes. The smallest hole that the wire will just fit through is it's size.

For copper #14=15A, #12=20A, #10=30A. As long as these two things are true. No smaller wire is used anywhere in the circuit. The nameplate of attached equipment doesn't call for a different size.
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Old 11-07-2013, 09:03 PM   #8
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Fuses to Breakers


Assuming your existing fuses are sized properly (and that is a big assumption) you can obtain the sizes off the face of the fuse (15 amp-Blue, 20 amp-Orange, 30 amp-Green) It has been 30 years since I did anything with residential fuses someone else may tell you if I got the colors wrong.

For pull outs you look at the fuse. DO NOT PULL, A PULL OUT, OUT if the load is on and hopefully your complete service is powered off.

In addition as noted you should verify conductor sizes and equipment being fed.
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Old 11-08-2013, 05:19 AM   #9
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Fuses to Breakers


My electrician is a licensed tech and also a family friend. He knows the house inside and out and has given me a great price on converting the house from the old fuses to a breaker box, which I have been looking at doing for years. This man even came out here on a Saturday night, about a year ago because of a problem with a fuse.
He is an extremely busy person and I feel as though he has put me on the back burner because he gave me such a low quote about 2 years ago and that I couldn't afford it and had to keep putting him off. Now I have the money to do the project and think that he has put me on the back burner. I thought that if I went ahead and bought everything that it would prove to him that I was serious about getting it done this time and that I can afford it.
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Old 11-08-2013, 05:21 AM   #10
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Fuses to Breakers


The problem here is that the house has 16 rooms, built in 1850 and only has 8 fuses running the entire house with the two main fuses.
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Old 11-08-2013, 05:36 AM   #11
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Fuses to Breakers


In a home that old there is no telling what sort or wiring lurks behind the walls. Your biggest concern will be the wire size and consistancy of that size throughout a particular circuit. Do you know if any original wiring or devices are still in service?
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Old 11-08-2013, 05:37 AM   #12
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The problem here is that the house has 16 rooms, built in 1850 and only has 8 fuses running the entire house with the two main fuses.
Depending on when it was first wired, I would consider complete rewire.
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Old 11-08-2013, 05:43 AM   #13
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Fuses to Breakers


Wow...so much information is missing....

1st Off...it sounds like maybe the 'electrician' is a family member or close friend....I'm sure his intents are good to give you a hand...but....tell him no thanks...he is in over his head.

You can't just pull fuses and put in circuit breakers...you need a new load center...

So lets back up....take some pics....and at best we can give you some basic information so that when you get in a 'real' electrician you will understand what he is talking about
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Old 11-08-2013, 06:06 AM   #14
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Fuses to Breakers


This is to give you guys an idea of the mess that I have to deal with and the reason behind why I am converting.
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Old 11-08-2013, 06:07 AM   #15
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Fuses to Breakers


Just posted one pic

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