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Old 08-22-2010, 10:42 PM   #1
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Replacing old fuse box questions


The 2 mains are both 60amp fuses. The power company wont tell me what amperage service I have, They say they dont know. How can I tell? I could just use 60a mains in the new breaker box, but if my service supports more, I'd like to get larger. I've never blown a main.

Also, all 115vac circuits are 15a, is that normal for a house built in 1954? Reason I ask is because I had someone look at the gauge wires coming out of the box and he said I could replace all those 15s with 20s.

Oh yea, the reason I am changeing this is because:
1-a sub panel was added to the house before I bought it in 1986. It has breakers for the central AC and water heater. The AC breaker is loose and sometimes sparks when it cycles on. The bar that the breakers attaches to is damaged. It has always made me uncomfortable.

2-Since 1986 I have spent maybe 100$ in fuses. Less so these last few years since I cut two existing circuits in 1/2 and added two more fuses. There were two empty places on the box which is now full.

3-I want to add another circuit.

4-I cant use the clothes washer spin cycle when the central heater is cycled on, otherwise a 15a fuse pops. The AC is 230, the fan and heater are 115.

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Old 08-23-2010, 07:12 AM   #2
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Replacing old fuse box questions


The smallest residential service that can be installed today is 100 amps. To determine your current service size you would need to find out the size of the conductors feeding your meter. Normally these are not installed any larger than they need to be so you are probably looking a a total upgrade.

The loose AC breaker will only get worse as the resistance builds up due to the pitting and arcing. It should be replaced sooner than later.

It sounds like you still have some new circuits to run for the washer etc.

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Old 08-23-2010, 07:52 AM   #3
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Replacing old fuse box questions


around here the power company is responsible for all wiring to the meter, homeowner is responsible after that. check on this for your locale. since you are upgrading the panel, the meter/socket will require upgrade also. go all the way.
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Old 08-23-2010, 08:36 AM   #4
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Replacing old fuse box questions


my area codes the same. Inside is my responsibility. I will let them know beofre I pull the meter and let them piull it, if they want.
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Old 08-23-2010, 08:38 AM   #5
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Please let the power company pull the meter. Pulling a meter is dangerous enough, let alone for someone that is not trained nor have the proper protective equipment.
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Old 08-23-2010, 09:59 AM   #6
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I will thanks, but im not even ready for that yet. Still need to choose a main and decide whether to use 15s and 20s.
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Old 08-23-2010, 11:27 AM   #7
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Replacing old fuse box questions


My thoughts if it will be awhile before you can upgrade the service.
Quote:
Originally Posted by paulmars View Post
Also, all 115vac circuits are 15a, is that normal for a house built in 1954? Reason I ask is because I had someone look at the gauge wires coming out of the box and he said I could replace all those 15s with 20s.
Do you have fustats or fuses? If the wire is #12 for the complete circuit then you could use 20 amps fuses.
Quote:
Oh yea, the reason I am changeing this is because:
1-a sub panel was added to the house before I bought it in 1986. It has breakers for the central AC and water heater. The AC breaker is loose and sometimes sparks when it cycles on. The bar that the breakers attaches to is damaged. It has always made me uncomfortable.
Is there empty spaces in the sub? If so, as a safety item until an upgrade, you could get a new double pole breaker and place it in an unused slot if available and the wires are long enough.
Quote:
2-Since 1986 I have spent maybe 100$ in fuses. Less so these last few years since I cut two existing circuits in 1/2 and added two more fuses. There were two empty places on the box which is now full.

3-I want to add another circuit.

4-I cant use the clothes washer spin cycle when the central heater is cycled on, otherwise a 15a fuse pops. The AC is 230, the fan and heater are 115.
Since you had two empty fuse spaces, you should have placed the fan and heater on their own circuit and the washer on it's own circuit.
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Old 08-23-2010, 11:45 AM   #8
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Replacing old fuse box questions


tks for the input. My box originally took this thread type: http://electrical.hardwarestore.com/...t--632678.aspx

however before i bought the house, adapters were screwed into the box requiring these: http://www.azpartsmaster.com/Product...e__FST-15.aspx
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Old 08-23-2010, 03:51 PM   #9
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The second link is what is usually called a fusestat. Once the adapter is installed, it prevents using the wrong size fuse which happened frequently. If you can verify that the wire is #12, the adapter can be remove and a 20 amp "stat" adapter can be installed. I think they are still available. Did that person actually verify that the wire used is 12 AWG?
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Old 08-23-2010, 04:37 PM   #10
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I will need to verify its 12awg, before going to 20a breakers. I have a micrometer, how thick is 12 awg. I will also check a few switch and outlet boxes in the house.
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Old 08-23-2010, 04:41 PM   #11
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This chart--http://www.rbeelectronics.com/wtable.htm--shows 12 ga. at 80 thousandths. (.080)
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Old 08-23-2010, 04:56 PM   #12
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tks. And how can i double check that 12 awg is good for 20amps. I did some research and I found contradicting info and mentions that the longer the wire, the heavier gauge needed.
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Old 08-23-2010, 06:06 PM   #13
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12g is good for 50' before you need to worry about voltage drop
Then its only a problem if you try to pull 20a
Most people in a normal size house do not worry about it

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