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GooperMC 06-30-2008 07:56 PM

Really Old Fuse Box
 
The light in my living room stopped working and I tracked it down to a really old fuse box in my basement (pic attached). I see 120v going in and 0v going out so I am guessing that I just blew a fuse, but I don't know how to tell for sure. I do have a modern circuit box with lots of circuit breakers where the power comes into the house, is there any reason I can't just wire around the old fuse box?

Front of old fuse box:
http://picasaweb.google.com/saul.jas...26180586855938
http://picasaweb.google.com/saul.jas...26180586855938

Inside of old fuse box:
http://picasaweb.google.com/saul.jas...26182328734914
http://picasaweb.google.com/saul.jas...26182328734914


Thanks!

pcampbell 06-30-2008 08:33 PM

I don't see any pictures.

GooperMC 06-30-2008 09:01 PM

Strange after editing and not changing anything the pics showed back up. Hmmm and now they don't work again, I added links just in case.

junkcollector 06-30-2008 11:14 PM

You will need to trace the feeder to this disconnect back to the main panel and see what size circuit breaker is protecting it. If it is 15 amps (no more) there should be no problem in removing the box and installing a junction box. There is nothing really wrong with the box, other than the nuetral (White) looks to be fused. It should not be. If you would have a 15 amp breaker installed in the main panel, you could probably remove this box. (Cool antique fusebox though...)

This is probably not the source of the problem, I would start by tracking down what is all on this circuit. I would unplug all appliances on the circuit, and install a new fuse. If that fuse holds, you either had the circuit overloaded or one of the appliances has a short in it. You can find that out by plugging in each appliance individually. If the fuse blows instantly without any appliances plugged in, you probably have a short circuit. You would have to disassemble all the devices on that circuit to find the problem or choose to call in a qualified, licensed electrician.

Pudge565 06-30-2008 11:16 PM

from the pic it looks like a blown fuse. to check for sure you can look in the little "window" for the metal bridge. it should be connected. if not you have to simply replace the fuse. whoops while i was writing my post junkcollector had already replied to your post.

GooperMC 07-01-2008 08:28 PM

Quote:

If you would have a 15 amp breaker installed in the main panel, you could probably remove this box. (Cool antique fusebox though...)
It tracks back to a 20 amp breaker in the main panel. I think that the old fusebox was 30 amps (see first pic) so why would it have to be 15 amps at the main breaker?

Quote:

This is probably not the source of the problem, I would start by tracking down what is all on this circuit.
The only other thing on that circuit is the fan for my furnace / AC which might explain why the fuse blew.

Thanks

CowboyAndy 07-02-2008 07:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GooperMC (Post 135247)
It tracks back to a 20 amp breaker in the main panel. I think that the old fusebox was 30 amps (see first pic) so why would it have to be 15 amps at the main breaker?

The only other thing on that circuit is the fan for my furnace / AC which might explain why the fuse blew.

Thanks

It is fused at 15 amps, not 30. That was origionally for a 240v circuit, and each bus would have a 30 amp fuse.

I don't understand why the neutral is fused though...

Is it possible that this is still a 240v citcuit? did you measure voltage across the black and white wires on the line side? Wait, you said there was a light on this circuit?

GooperMC 07-02-2008 09:10 AM

Quote:

It is fused at 15 amps, not 30. That was origionally for a 240v circuit, and each bus would have a 30 amp fuse.
Makes sense, thanks for the explanation. I guess this also means I can't just wire around this fuse box, but can I buy a 15amp breaker for the main panel and then wire around it? It seems easier and more maintainable then trying to find fuses for this ancient fuse box.

Quote:

I don't understand why the neutral is fused though...
The pic doesn't really show this (the flash caused a reflection) but on closer inspection each of the fuses look "complete". They both have a n shaped piece of metal that has a narrower section at the top of the n. I was guessing that if the fuse was blown this narrower section would be missing? I can take the fuses out and post better pictures if that would help.

Quote:

Is it possible that this is still a 240v citcuit? did you measure voltage across the black and white wires on the line side?
120v across the line side and 0v across the load side.

Quote:

Wait, you said there was a light on this circuit?
Ya :(

CowboyAndy 07-02-2008 09:38 AM

If this circuit is fused at the main panel, then I would phase this box out. Use a junction box where this is now.

As for changing the 20AMP breaker for a 15, that would all depend on what size wire is being used on the citcuit. If it is all 12 awg, then keep it 20. If it has ANY 14awg, then 15amp breaker is required.

Maintenance 6 07-02-2008 12:44 PM

You'll want to be really careful changing fuses in that box. Lots of potentially hot, unprotected surfaces to come in contact with.

GooperMC 07-04-2008 08:45 AM

Quote:

If it is all 12 awg, then keep it 20. If it has ANY 14awg, then 15amp breaker is required.
There is 14 gauge in the circuit, so I am going to need to switch the main breaker to 15 amp and then wire around the fuse box.

Thanks for the help!


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