Changing out a fuse box

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like if you just touch it, the insulation would fall off.
Thanks
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There are plug-in fuse replacements that are circuit breakers. That would be a LOT CHEAPER than what you are proposing, and should work just about as well. It also saves you from having to get a permit and having to update all the wiring to the present NEC codes.
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Metspitzer wrote:

I don't know the answers to the electrical questions, but if your friend is planning on renting the property out, he may want to consider having a licensed electrician do a whole new service or at least do the changeover to circuit breakers.
One reason is that since it is an income property, the cost should be a deductible business expense for tax purposes. Another reason is that his insurance carrier may require that. And, a third reason has to do with liability issues in the event of a fire etc. in the future -- an insurance company may deny the claim if he (or an unlicensed person) did the electrical work; and he or any unlicensed person who did the electrical work could be personally liable for any damages or harm that results.
He may already know about these types of issues if he has other rental properties; but, if this is his first venture into the rental/landlord business, he may want to start learning as much as he can about that. Once way to get more information etc. would be to join a local real estate investor association or group. Here is a link to some that are in Georgia: http://www.creonline.com/real-estate-clubs/ga.html . I think that usually the groups that have "REIA" (Real Estate Investor Association) in their name tend to have more useful information a resources for their members.
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wrote:

Unless things have changed, the home owner is allowed to work on his own house. I worked as a commercial electrician for 20 years until 2000, but I am disabled. He knows I won't be much help, but I am willing to share all I know with him.
I will be emailing him the Google link to this thread, and he may even want to join in.
My advice will be to change everything, but it is going to be his call. My residential experience is one house (my sisters)
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wrote:

I dont know why you would want to do this. All you are doing is keeping a metal box. You still have to get the meter pulled to change the MAINS. And you still have to rewire every circuit to the house. About the only thing you would not have to do is remove the romex or BX clamps. So what's the point? If you have conduit going to the house, most of the time you may find it a little more difficult, but it's still not that big of a deal. Find a similar sized breaker box and just change the whole thing. The time you'll spend removing cable clamps would be spent trying to retrofit the breakers in the old box anyhow.
Another thing to think about is the entrance to the box. If you have an old 60A fuse box and upgrade to a mimimum 100A breaker box (or larger), you'll need to replace the cable from the entrance head to the meter and to the breaker box. Often this means replaceing the pipe on the side of the house because it's too thin for the larger cable. In order to pass code, you'll most likely have to replace everything from the entrance head to the breaker box anyhow. The house wiring can be reused in most cases.
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On Tue, 31 May 2011 17:21:28 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@myplace.com wrote:

Your concerns are valid.
http://i.imgur.com/t7RJJ.jpg
The main reason he wants to change anything is because there are 240V between these two connections with the block pulled. He was working on the plumbing to the water heater and got shocked (I forget the details, but if he joins in he can let us know)
I have also made him very aware of having to bring everything up to code. He is the kind of guy that does things right so I imagine everything will be replaced, but asked me to consider changing the panel.
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wrote:

Looking at that photo, it's a little hard to say with out having the box in front of me and a tester in hand, but it appears he must be coming directly off the mains. They mains connectors appear to be in the CENTER of the box. The water heater should be on the other sides of that pull out, this is my guess. The way it is now, that water heater has no fuses at all ***DANGEROUS***. He's lucky he didn't get killed. Now, if you take a look at that top right pullout, there are no wires going to it. THAT's the one that should be used for the water heater and put 30A cartridge fuses in it.
One other thing. Look at all those 30A plug fuses. Assuming those are for the lighting and outlets, they should NOT be 30A. They should be 15A or 20A depending on the wire. #14 = 15A #12 = 20A. Another dangerous situation. It's not uncommon though. It's a major cause of electrical fires because many people did it. If they made 100A plug fuses, people would use them.
That pull out that appears to be incorrectly wired now, must be for some other 220 device in the house. Possibly an Air Conditioner, or a sub feed to a garage or something else. It's not likely an electric range, because the wires are too thin.

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On Thu, 02 Jun 2011 06:37:13 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@myplace.com wrote:

They make them at the US Mint and they are one cent each. ;-)
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On Jun 2, 2:39pm, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

pennies are copper plated these days, does the base metal cause overheating:(
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wrote:

That is what makes them 100a fuses, a real copper penny is 200a ;-)
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** Just so you understand how that panel works: All of the upper pullouts are "mains" One of them feeds the bank of plug fuses. When he was working on the water heater, he undoubtedly pulled the wrong main
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he pulled every single fuse when he was shocked while working on the water heater and it was still hot. The only one I checked was the one for the water heater but as you can see from the picture there is no fuse protection for the water heater. The block is out but those two terminals are hot and connected to the water heater.
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**Where you drew those two red lines, if that is where the water heater was connected, that appears to be the line side of the fuse block, so that would be hot regardless of fuses.
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remember fuse boxes are OLD, andnot only too small amp wise, but lack proper grounding, ARC FAULT and GFCIs, and worse most people tend to overfuse, hey the 15 amp one blew, try a 20, oh it blew a 30 should do it:( the main service cable may be in poor shape too
Plus you may have trouble getting homeowners insurance, or pay extra, because of fuses.
If you happen to have K&T just forget it. future resale impossible, insurance near so.
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wrote:

I sent him the link to this thread yesterday. Although he has an email address, I am don't think he web surfs every waking hour like I do.
He is trying to get the house ready to rent. He wants a safe, inexpensive fix. I am not sure what to tell him. I am getting a book from the library to show him what the current requirements for a house are.
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On 6/2/2011 5:16 PM, Metspitzer wrote:

As RBM indicated, there shouldn't be. In addition to not being able to turn the wires off, the wires have absolutely no protection. If wired correctly, downstream from fuses, the box may (or may not) be functional for future use.
--
bud--


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OK, I decided to see what an actual 2/0 aluminum SE conductor looks like. Your photo looks like #2 to me, so I cut a piece from some cable and I have to admit, even holding it in my hand, it looks like #2 to me. This stuff is so tight, it really is considerably smaller than standard wire. Unfortunately I don't have standard 2/0 aluminum wire, to show the comparison. Here are some pics of the SE conductor:
https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/EVp_aDvB0PgN73yCzy3vYrUkP1OVEiDcE3j6gFB6S7o?feat=directlink
https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/27h7H9aveR_VxpmdTOcSj7UkP1OVEiDcE3j6gFB6S7o?feat=directlink
https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/ADqP_Qqk-JydxHC-Vv-gs7UkP1OVEiDcE3j6gFB6S7o?feat=directlink
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Why does everyone believe this is aluminum? I have never seen aluminum wire with a cloth and rubber insulation, only tinned copper.
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The photos are just not going to do it. Hopefully we will be able to tell when we have something side by side. He may bring a few sizes to be sure.
Thanks
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