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Old 03-04-2011, 09:06 PM   #1
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Sub-Panel ID


I live in an older ranch, built in the 1930's. The previous owner put in a 100 amp main panel (modern circuit breakers). There is also an old fuse box/sub-panel. The only thing running off it is an electric hot water heater. It has two 30 amp old-style screw-in fuses in it. The main supply wire running to the older fuse box appears to run out toward the meter. It definitely does not run toward the main panel. A friend with some knowledge about electricity told me that in days gone by, electric water heaters were metered seperately and this is likely the reason for the different line and panel.
My questions: Is this an independent line that doesn't tax the load to the main panel? Can I take adavantage of this by putting in a seperate panel and increasing the amps available to the house, maybe put the water heater, washer, and dryer, which are all in the area, onto a separate panel and free up space/capacity on the existing panel for other uses? And, how would I tell for sure if the line is truly independent?

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Old 03-04-2011, 09:12 PM   #2
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Sub-Panel ID


first:

where are you located?

do you know if the NEC or some similar code is in force in your area?

Is there a main disconnect other than at the newer panel like out by the meter maybe?

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Old 03-04-2011, 10:06 PM   #3
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Sub-Panel ID


I'm in a small town in north-central Illinois. We are in the middle of a kitchen and bath remodel and we had to pull permits, so I assume some sort of code is in effect, though I don't know if this is true when the sub panel was installed. No obvious switch at the meter, unless its inside a box.
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Old 03-04-2011, 10:41 PM   #4
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Unless there is a disconnect that shuts off all the power to the main panel and this water heater feed, I can see no way to utilize the water heater feed for any purpose.

If the feed is only a 30 amp feed, you really wouldn't be able to do anything with it anyway.
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Old 03-06-2011, 10:33 AM   #5
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Sub-Panel ID


Thanks for the advice, nap.
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