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Helping with this "project home". The 60 year old house was empty for at least 7 months. The fuse socket that supplies 2 bedrooms (250 ft^2 total) had no fuse and appears somewhat tarnished. I've removed its neighbor fuse to show a socket for an "active" circuit.

I'm hesitant to screw in a fuse and see what happens. I'd first like to figure out why that socket is tarnished. Most of the house wiring has a silver cloth-like sheath but the wire for this circuit is newer 14-2 Romex with plastic sheath. I can't figure out why this circuit has newer wiring.

Any idea how long would it take for that type of tarnish to appear on a fuse socket with the fuse missing? Any idea why that socket might be empty? Or why they ran this newer wiring to 2 bedrooms?
 

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if you are talking about the third one on top dont put a fuse there. socket must be cleaned or it may overheat the fuse socket. to clean it cut the power to entire panel. pass some abrasive paper on it so it becomes clean and after you can try a new fuse
 

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"I'm hesitant to screw in a fuse and see what happens ..."

Clean the contact at the back middle of the socket first.

Then screw in an ordinary incandescent lamp.

Now go around the house unplugging things or turning things off (label each receptacle and switch) until the lamp goes off. (If you cannot make the lamp go off then you know you have a problem with the circuit.)

Now you know some or most of the lights or receptacles that are on that branch circuit as well as not wasted a fuse in case there was a short or were too many things plugged in and turned on.
 

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Tarnish isn't going to effect current draw. Residue, oxidation, yes.
Decide which it is.
If it's tarnish, plug in a fuse. If it blows, go investigate the branch circuit.
If it's burn residue, it could have been caused by a loosely fitted fuse, arcing. Clean(carefully clean) the contacts. If the fuse blows, investigate the branch circuit.
 

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You might be hesitant due to safety concerns
But in the end the only way to know for sure
Is to energise the circuit
You can start with a 10A fuse if your worried
Or even using the lamp idea
The fuse holder can be easily cleaned

If your not confident messing
around in your main.panel, then don't !
Call an electrician instead.
 
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