I am doing a minor remodeling job in my 50+ year old house. There was
an electric heater in the basement that is not used anymore and I will
use it's dedicated circuit for wiring. Now comes the problem. The
heater had it's own fuse box wired from the main circuit breaker box.
In that box is the normal load side and line side. There were two 30
amp fuses in it. One fuse connected the two hot lugs and one fuse
connected the two neutral lugs. Why is there a fuse on the neutral
side? If I replaced the two 30 amp fuses with 15 or 20 amp fuses,
would that give me a usable circuit?
The neutral should NEVER be fused. Are you sure the circuit is not a 220
volt circuit and they are just putting a fuse in each side of the line and
there is no neutral in the box ? There may not be a neutral in the box and
if the wires are white and black, the white wire is actuall the other hot
wire ? If so , they should have put some black or red tape on it to
designate it as being a hot wire.
50 years ago and more, there were people that put fuses in the neutrals
usually in knob and tube. I have seen it during rewires. Not something that
is done today nor should it have been done then. But there were lots of
places that it was.
Water heaters are usually do not have a neutral to them in older residential
wiring. ( they do on new homes in my area now.) No one can tell this guy
if it will be safe from the description.
Rile you need a pro to look at the situation and tell you.
It was not wired to a water heater. It was a small electric heater
used to heat part of a basement. The 220 circuit makes sense though.
I guess what threw me was the fact that the receptacle the heater used
looked like an ordinary two prong 110 outlet. As soon as I can locate
my multi-meter, I'll verify what has been suggested.
Other posters mention that you are probably looking at a 240 VAC circuit
with two hots. You can verify this by checking the voltage with a
meter. One side could possibly be converted to a neutral, but first the
wiring needs to be inspected by an expert. The insulation could be
shot, the wire could be the wrong type to meet current codes, the wire
needs to be of proper size, and the breaker in the main panel would have
to be changed.
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