glass fuse 1/ 2

Perry:
If I may add a few things....
PT> The house is circa 1960. The electrical panel is glass fuses. The whole PT> house runs off the box of 8 glass fuses. They are 30 amp. PT> I wonder if the electrical fuses should be 20's and someone has replaced PT> them with 30's. How do I determine what is the correct size?
As someone else mentioned, probably the best thing to do would be to have an electrician look at what wiring size is (the guage) and insert the correct the fuses accordingly. FWIW there are "circuit breaker fuses"; maybe was -- I looked into these several years ago for our panel (1 15 and three 20's for the original house). They can be used in place of 'normal' sized fuses. Couldn't use them here because at one time adapters were inserted so only the correct sized fuse could be inserted.
Another reason to obtain the services of an electrician is to determine if damage has occurred to the wiring due to these overloads. The electrician can also look for loosened wiring -- this can occur due to aging of the system.
(I would strongly suggest getting a new service panel installed. It was something I wanted to have done for several years but we finally had to have done with the addition. Went from four glass fuses (original house) and two circuit breakers (for the Dining Room addition by a previous owner) to something like 20 circuit breakers.)
PT> The tenant blew a fuse, running a leaf blower and fryer all at the same PT> time. I told her to try a 20 amp fuse first, but she said it sparked and PT> wouldn't physically screw in. (did she have it crossthreaded, I don't know
This sounds a little suspicious to me. I don't want to sound like I'm calling the tenant a liar but with the system here the fuse had to be screwed in pretty much all the way to make contact. The contacts are like that of a light bulb: at the sides and at the bottom.
PT> But the 30 was fine. After a couple of hours after replacing the fuse, I PT> asked her to feel the panel box and notice if anything was warm or hot...shPT> said no.
I wonder if she felt the outside of the fuse panel rather than the tops of the fuses?
PT> Are the 20's and 30's the same size?
The standard ones might be -- the sockets the adapters here screwed in to looked to be all the same size. The adapters had two different- sized openings. (In case anyone is wondering, the adapters were held in place with a two spring wires angled so could not be unthreaded.)
PT> If the box was built for 30's and I replace them with 20's, what's the PT> damage? And vice versa.
The smaller the number the less current can flow before the fuse blows (actually the excess current starts to melt the fusible link inside the fuse; the link will spark when it blows). A 100 Watt light bulb uses approximately 1 Amp. So, 20 100W light bulbs will use approximately 20 Amps; 21 100W bulbs will use 21 Amps and should blow a 20 A fuse (or circuit breaker); there is a little bit of a fudge- factor so the fuse or circuit breaker will probably hold for a while. However, one is overloading the wiring between the fuse and these light bulbs -- not a good thing.
If someone some time back replaced the 20 A fuse because the "darn thing kept blowing" with a 30 Amp fuse then the _fuse_ not not blow until the load reached 30 Amps but the _wiring_ is only rated for 20 Amps (and the outlets and light sockets are probably only rated for 15!). I'm not going to say the wiring was glowing like a red-hot toaster element but it was starting to get a little warm!
PT> How tough is it to replace a glass fuse breaker box with a modern breaker PT> box?
Relatively easy for an electrician. LIS we had ours updated with the addition -- think it was $1400 but that also included moving the electric meter to the outside (it was in the basement next to the old panels). The contractor coordinated with the electric company to cut and restore service -- actually I think the electricans cut the meter seal and removed the meter. Power company installed the new meter when the new panel was installed. I think we were without power at the house for two, maybe three hours at the most, and then sections of the house were brought on-line (as wiring was connected to the circuit breakers). ...The whole thing was carefully (?!) orchestrated as the contracted had to have power for his men to continue building ==> the
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*Continued from previous message.
power to the master bedroom addition was connected first, then the Dining Room as they were tapping power from there to the nail gun compressor, saws, etc.
BTW, you will probably need a permit to have your panel upgraded; have the electrician get it and post it -- it will be worth the few extra dollars to send him or his company through this maze.
- barry.martinATthesafebbs.zeppole.com
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Yes, thank you for your well thought out and worded reply. All concerns of mine. My tenant is a girlie girl and so relying on her interpretation leaves a bit to be desired. I am familiar with electrical and its limitaions. I am going to check into the electrical panel as soon as I can. Perry

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of
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Hi Perry. Yeah be careful if over the years 30 amp fuses have been put into what should be 20 amp and 15 amp wired circuits and then extra circuits or outlets added. For example; our 34 year old house was wired when outlets were #12AWG 20 amp and lights were #14AWG 15 amp. Fortunately with circuit breakers. But I've just found one string of duplex outlets that was extended with #14AWG so am changing the breaker on that circuit to 15 amp size. Not that the string of outlets, most of them unused or only a few rarely used table lamps plugged in, will be loaded so that wiring will instantly burst into flames if someone, not knowing, plugs in something heavy at the end of the extended circuit; but not to code/insurance etc. Good luck.
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| | PT> The tenant blew a fuse, running a leaf blower and fryer all at the same | PT> time. I told her to try a 20 amp fuse first, but she said it sparked and | PT> wouldn't physically screw in. (did she have it crossthreaded, I don't know
Why would you think that was "suspicious?" It's problaby the case that the fryer or some other appliance was plugged in and turned on when she tried to put the fuse in. Lots of times it IS hard to turn the fuses in those old fuse boxes, and just before it makes contact, you will often get sparks, and if a fryer or something was going to draw a fair amount of current (say, over 5 amps), between the hard to turn, shakiness over being nervous about doing it, etc., it can create quite a spark. Or, a TV, computer, anything with a high initial current spike when it turns on (inductive loads/motors etc). I always take a can of WD-40 and wipe down the fuse threads before puttin gin a glass fuse - makes 'em turn easier and you can make that last little twist quickly, bypassing the formation of lots of carbon when that spark jumps the gap. It's also possible to make a fuse blow without an over-current if you don't firmly (nor forcefully) tighten it down into the socket: The arc jumps, the carbon forms, and the fuse, not being tight uses the carbon (which has become a reistive component now) heats up, warming the fuse from inside the socket. That last little bit of turn when it becomes seated is to push aside or displace the carbon if there is a spark, and hopefully "fixes" the situation. It is WRONG to EVER replace a fuse, or flip a breaker, while things are turned on! That same arccing will also weaken circuit breakers.
Please don't try to egg me into a debate: These are lab findings and besides I'm not inclined to debates on newsgroups.
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Pop...I 100% agree with you and the scenario. In fact, I imagine that's exactly how it happened. Perry

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Sounds like a stupid STormin Mormin Troll, suggest you sit on a glass fuse , with half the glass broke off, it will do you good..
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