Are Circuit Breakers Over-rated?

Page 1 of 4  

Our 55 year-old house still runs on fuses . We have never upgraded to a circuit breaker . We hardly ever blow fuses (it's been years actually). We even run our heater and air conditioner off an individual fuse box installed 25 years ago. We have an electrician coming out to give us an estimate to upgrade to a circuit breaker, but since we've made the appointment we've heard from two people who say fuses are better and why bother spending the money if we don't have any problems. Thoughts ?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Jeffy3 wrote:

OK, _WHY_ did you do this, then?
Unless you're intending or needing to upgrade service from (say) 100 to 200A in view of an impending remodeling or other anticipated increased loading or also replacing a 2-wire system w/ 3, what's the point?
--
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Agreed. Unless your fuse panel is failing, rusting, has broken parts, or lack of capacity, I would vote to stay with it. I don't think new fuse panels are made, so any replacement would have to be a circuit breaker panel.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
EXT wrote: ...

Yeah, I was astounded to recently discover that appears to be the case that there are apparently _none_ other than for very large industrial applications any longer available. (I wasn't needing/wanting particularly, just curious after somebody else had made the comment and thought surely they could be had still even though not used much in new construction.)
--
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

re: "I was astounded ...thought surely they could be had still even though not used much in new construction."
I, on the other hand, am not in the least suprised.
If I look at this from a supply and demand perspective, I can't see enough demand to justify the cost of maintaining a manufacturing line and/or storage facility for fuse boxes.
If there is an alternative device available (i.e. the circuit breaker box) that will fit both new construction and upgrades/add-on situations, it's cheaper to manufacture and store just the one device.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
DerbyDad03 wrote: ...

Well, I'm happy for you... :)
"astounded" was over the top to describe actual discovery undoubtedly--"somewhat surprised" more nearly.
While your market analysis is generally true, I figured there would be a continuing-enough demand there would have been _somebody_ still making them....
--
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
\\

Most people in our neighborhood switched over so I just assumed there was a good reason for it, i.e. safety.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Mon, 2 Nov 2009 08:38:50 -0800 (PST), against all advice,

If the people in your neighborhood wanted to increase the amount of power available, they would have to go to a breaker box. I've had them both, and the breakers are more convenient because they can just be reset rather than replaced, but they aren't worth the expense if that's all you want from them.
--

Howdya like that... we started playing guitar to impress the chicks and wind
up talkin\' fingernails with old men.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
dpb wrote:

Possibly because they aren't blowing fuses since someone has already overfused the old panel and it's a fire waiting to happen? A single 30A edison base fuse feeding several 14ga circuits isn't exactly uncommon on some old panels.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

re: "we've heard from two people who say fuses are better"
Did they say why or was it just a statement that you didn't challange?
I'm not saying they're wrong, but I would certainly have asked them for their reasoning.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Ive never seen a fuse fail to blow when it was supposed to, I have never seen a fuse leave a circuit hot when I pulled it. I wish I could say the same was true of breakers. I ve never seen anyone put a penny behind a breaker either so they both have their advantages and disadvantages.
Jimmie.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

I'm not going to jump on any bandwagon one way or other, but what I will say is that his old fuse box probably contains a high quality copper bus, and most likely the replacement that he would end up with these days would not. I sure some of you have seen loose fitting breakers corroding at the bus because of the crappy materials and manufacturing shortcuts used too often these days. But I could say that about a good many things besides fuse/breaker boxes..................................
On the other hand, if he ever goes to sell, he will wish he had kept up with some of the modernizing that almost everyone has done over the years.....................
How's that for undecided? :-?
Lefty
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Overall, I'd stay with the fuses, unless some big reason to upgrade. Undecided? Maybe. I'll get back to you on that.
--
Christopher A. Young
Learn more about Jesus
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Both were told that by their electrician so it was second hand. They couldn't specifically state the reason. We're not planning on selling so maybe I'll leave things be. I appreciate everyone's thoughts.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Jeffy3 wrote:

You mean the guy making money for doing the job said that giving him work is the best solution?
Jon
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Re-read the OP. Both of those people were told that *fuses* were better therefore the electrician was suggesting that they *don't* do the swap.
At least that's how I put those 2 items together...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

That is exactly what it is. And the electrician was a cousin of my friend and he wasn't looking to do work that he didn't feel was needed.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
DerbyDad03 wrote:

Ah, gotcha, that makes more sense now.
Jon
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Jeffy3 wrote:

Fuse or breaker there are many different kinds. Only difference is you can reset a breaker. You can't with fuse. Once it's blown, you replace it.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Mon, 02 Nov 2009 09:39:10 -0700, Tony Hwang wrote:

Nah, you cut it open and solder a bit of wire across the break.
(Sad to say, I've seen it done - and the aftermath. But only with consumer electronics luckily)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.