Changing out a fuse box

Page 1 of 3  
Do they make a circuit breaker panel that will mount in an old fuse box? I have a friend that wants to get an old house ready to rent. The house is small but it is really nice. Here are two pictures of the fuse box. It has a GE cover that is listed at 150A. The box measures 14.5 by 24 by 3.75. No markings on the service entrance cable that tells what size the wire is.
He wants to just remove the old guts and update it to circuit breakers. The bottom left fuse block is hot on both sides even with the fuses removed. In the extreme lower left there is a fuse block that is not being used.
Since he is an old friend, I offered to have a look at it for him, but I really don't know what to tell him short of tearing the house down and start from scratch. I know that is not what he wants to hear. The insulation on the wire looks so brittle I don't want to touch it. The house is in rural Georgia.
http://imgur.com/NP8xV&UucAD http://imgur.com/NP8xV&UucADl
-- O'Neil to General Hammond: For the record Sir, I wanted to blow it the hell up.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Cuttler Hammer has some retrofit panelboards.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Mon, 30 May 2011 18:46:01 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Do they fit GE boxes? I called two GE supply places in Atlanta and both people gave me a direct "no"
It seems unnecessary to remove a perfectly good box that was made for electrical connections and replace it with a box made for an electrical connections.
I don't expect the mounting holes to match, but the box could be tapped to hold a new set of guts.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Legally the only issue is if the box is big enough. A sanity check would be to see what box size C/H puts that panelboard in and see if yours has the same basic dimensions. The question is total cubic inches and wire bending space at the breakers (usually width) . If it was close I would think about going for it ...
BUT,
you might find a complete load center with a handful of breakers in a package deal is cheaper than the retro panelboard and you will still need breakers. The internet can be your friend on this. I found a deal on the net for a 150a Square D QO bundled with a bunch of breakers, shipped, cheaper than Home Depot could do for Homeline and no breakers.
If you don't have a business relationship with a supply house (AKA discount) they probably won't be close because they usually cite list price for strangers. YMMV Times are tough so call, but call knowing exactly what you want. Act like a pro they might treat you like one.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

**He would have to find the guts, and the cover, to fit the existing box. The box he has is huge, but I doubt you can find a retro fit for it. He also has to determine the size of the entrance cables. The current fuse box is a split buss, 150 amp, but those SE conductors don't look like 2/0 to me. He may wind up with a 20 circuit 100 amp panel, which will be considerably smaller than what he has
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

to hear.
I actually told that to the girl at the supply house. I told her that I had already talked to two people that said they didn't make them. I wanted to talk to someone else. We had a pretty good laugh.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

house stop by the supply house and talk a guy into giving him a 6 inch piece of #2 aluminum and we could compare it to what he has.
He is a carpenter, but he works for Cleveland Electric here in Georgia. He should be able to get a small piece before we go any farther.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

**I love that: I only want to talk to the guy that says what I want to hear... Don't we all
**It's going to be hard to make a comparison unless he gets a piece of #2 from an SE cable. In a standard conductor, the individual strands are round. In an SE cable, they're actually flat on the outside circumference. If you look at it cross sectionally, it's like a solid round core of aluminum
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Metspitzer wrote:

How about a new GE panel? The holes might even line up :-)
There's nothing wrong with fuses as long as they have the right sizes installed; I wouldn't touch it if you have enough capacity. What are the main fuses in that top pullout, 125A?
When I replaced my old 60A fuse panel, I gutted it and used the old box as a junction box. Mounted the new 150A breaker box right next to it and connected them with a short 1 1/4" rigid conduit. But I ran new service entrance conductors... You don't want to do that if the existing ones are big enough.
-Bob
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
zxcvbob wrote:

There is nothing technically wrong with fuses, however from a practical perspective they will cost you more on insurance, particularly on a rental property. The <$250 it should cost for a DIY panel replacement will be made up in the first year of insurance premiums.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Using the existing box for a JB is a good suggestion, but the wall this one is on is too small to do that I think.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

you install in that modified box. You MAY be able to find a breaker box that "just fits" inside the old box - which WOULD be a UL or CSA listed device
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 5/31/2011 8:08 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

You are right that when replacing the guts the result is a panel that is not listed. That is actually also true if you put new guts in a box the same size the guts came out of.
From what gfretwell said the CH panel guts he talks about are listed for installation into an existing box.
Another consideration for just replacing the guts is whether the existing SE cable service wires are long enough to reach the lugs on the new panel.
--
bud--



Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Which is NOT what I was suggesting. Putting the "whole box" into the old box is different thanputting the guts in.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

** It's hard to tell, but those conductors look like #2 aluminum, which would only be good for 100 amp. I don't think you're going to find anything to retrofit breakers into that cabinet, but there aren't that many loads in the panel, so it wouldn't be too hard to replace it altogether. You will have to cut about 8" of wall out directly above the panel, to get the cables out and into the new box.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 5/30/2011 6:10 PM, RBM wrote:

Those big lines look like the old tinned copper conductors to me, not aluminum. I see it a lot on older copper wiring perhaps because a lot of common electrical practice in years past was to solder connections because there were probably only ceramic wire nuts available for small connections and solder lugs for larger connections. I've seen a lot of old house wiring that was soldered and insulated with friction tape.
TDD
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 5/30/2011 6:10 PM, RBM wrote:

Oops! On second thought, looking at the neutral, it could be aluminum. :-)
TDD
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Mon, 30 May 2011 19:47:28 -0500, The Daring Dufas

like cloth, but I can't be sure. I am sure it is old.
Thanks everyone
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

** I think it's a cloth wrapping over rubber
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.