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Old 04-16-2012, 01:46 AM   #1
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Outdoor Fuse Box


Hi, we drove past a triplex we are considering for purchase tonight. When we got out of the car to have a look around a bit, one of the tenants saw us and came out. He was telling us what he knew of the house and said the fuse box is on the outside of the house. This is a concern for us, because a) it is fuses and not breakers, which is preferable and b) we live in MN, which has extreme weather of all type. I have never heard of an outside fuse box before. Is it common? Will it pass an FHA inspection if we do decide to buy it? How difficult is it to relocate the panel to inside the house? Will it need to be moved? Thanks in advance for any advice.
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Old 04-16-2012, 02:13 AM   #2
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Outdoor Fuse Box


Did you physically see the fuses? Or are you assuming there are fuses because the neighbor said it had fuses? Many people (especially older) say fuses even if they are breakers.

If the enclosure is rated for outdoor use, then there is no problem with fuses or breakers outside. It is very common in many parts of the country. It seems like this is very popular in the north east.

If there really is fuses, there is a possibility your insurance company will require a service change, sometimes you can leverage this against the asking price.

The other option is that there aren't fuses for all the circuits outside, there is a main disconnect outside and a panel (sub) somewhere in the house. This is usually fine, but again, your insurance company might have a say in that as well.

All in all, I wouldn't let this scare you away from checking out this property.
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Old 04-16-2012, 02:32 AM   #3
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Thanks for the info. Yes, I am pretty sure it is fuses, because the tenant said he blew one when he first moved in and finally found the box outside. He elaborated to say that his electrician buddy told him it would cost $20,000 to relocate the box (which I know is an exaggeration).
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Old 04-16-2012, 02:35 AM   #4
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Outdoor Fuse Box


$20,000.00 to relocate an electrical service,did the guy work for sears?
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Old 04-16-2012, 03:33 AM   #5
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Outdoor Fuse Box


Quote:
Originally Posted by kwiklip View Post
Hi, we drove past a triplex we are considering for purchase tonight. When we got out of the car to have a look around a bit, one of the tenants saw us and came out. He was telling us what he knew of the house and said the fuse box is on the outside of the house. This is a concern for us, because a) it is fuses and not breakers, which is preferable and b) we live in MN, which has extreme weather of all type. I have never heard of an outside fuse box before. Is it common? Will it pass an FHA inspection if we do decide to buy it? How difficult is it to relocate the panel to inside the house? Will it need to be moved? Thanks in advance for any advice.
If you are thinking to get this place then you should talk to real estate personal and see where this will go and if you want this to be inspected you can have a home inspector to check it out ( I never trust the home inspectors 100% of the time ) but the best answer on electrique side is have a licensed electrician to check it out to see what is the exsting installment is good shape or not.

Fuse on outdoor panel ? sure I have heard it few time I know I do live in Wisconsin from time to time ( I am in France right now at my second home ) so I have see it a bit espcally with older units.

Somecase they can be leave alone if the Electrican declare it ok for time being that can be left at grand father clause but once you start work on the main panel then you have to bring it up the code the Electrician will able fill you in more details what state of Minnesota codes are at the moment.

If you have to move the panel to indoor that can be done but not going to be cheap depending on the type of triplex unit is.

But keep in your mind the electrique meter must stay outside per POCO regulations they will want it outdoor anyway.


Costwise that part I can not able comment due too many variations to deal with it.

Merci,
Marc
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Old 04-16-2012, 09:56 AM   #6
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Outdoor Fuse Box


In some parts of the country, such as here in California, they actually want the main breaker outside. That way the fire department can easily kill power in the event of a fire without having to cut the service line.

I would definitely check with the company you'll have insuring the place about the fuses. Also check with the mortgage company to ensure that the terms of your loan won't preclude an electrical service upgrade.
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