The Home I'm Buying - 30 amp fuse on 14 gauge wire

So we've made an offer on a home and the inspection turned up a long list of electrical issues. Most are not major - it's an older home and we expect some issues.
One bothers me though - the owner had 30 amp fuse on 14 gauge wire. A fire waiting to happen. I do not know what the extent of the damage of this could be.
We're planning on switching out the fuse box for a breaker box anyways. My question is this: if the wire insulation was damaged, will it still represent a safety hazard with the correct breakers installed?
Because if I just need to update the box and have an electrician check for specific problems (maybe whatever caused them to need the bigger fuse), then I can still make this sale work.
But if I need to have the wiring replaced in the entire house, well, there's lots of other houses out there.
Curious as to your thoughts,
Locrian
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On 7/6/2011 11:25 AM, Locrian wrote:

Hopefully your offer is contingent upon such things...depends of course on how much you like the house or whether it's just a house/deal.
I'd get the detailed estimate of problems and required fixes from a qualified electrician if intending at all to go forward and then decide and negotiate from there.
W/O anything but a typical pre-sale inspection I'd not venture much at all.
--
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Nobody said it was blowing. It might have blown at one time and they used what they had?? I might use an arc fault breaker, depending on situation.
Greg
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wrote:

There's no way to tell what the condition of the wire is without visually inspecting it. You should have a 15amp fuse on it.
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On Wed, 06 Jul 2011 16:25:42 +0000, Locrian

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On Wed, 06 Jul 2011 16:25:42 +0000, Locrian

Pull the fuse and see what it controls. Then use a little detective work to guess where the offending load may have been (space heater, hair dryer etc). Pull those receptacles and ceiling fixtures if they are on that circuit. Insulation damage is most likely there. It will be hard and crumbly.
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Locrian wrote:

I never lived in a second hand home, always had one built and we know all about our house. House inspection done? Is it a conditional offer? Only difference between breaker and fuse is breaker is resettable vs. fuse blows. B4 fire can start, hope fuse will blow for the worst case. Also homes have smoke/flame detectors and CO detector as well. Little things here and there adds up as far as money goes.
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How do you know there is damage? Could be a bad lamp caused the fuse to blow in the first place. Owner ditches the lamp, but is out of 15A fuses so he sticks a 30A in there. Gets a new lamp with 100 Watt bulb and never puts any more load than that on it, thus no damage.
Or he has had a space heater on it for the last six winters and the line is toast.
Can't tell from here. It has to be inspected, but don't fret too much. I've seen the wrong sized fuse used many time with light loads and never any damage.
It is not the size of the fuse that causes damage, it is the size of the load.
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I would be more worried about copper vs aluminum wiring. Aluminum wiring has expansion problems with heating that are much worse than with copper. What type of wiring, when was house built, etc.
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wrote:

You have a bargaining chip to greatly reduce the price of the house or have the present owners bring the wiring up to code at the already agreed on price. I would not buy it unless it was fixed first or a huge reduction in price...unless, of course, the agreed on price already is that much below market.
Harry K
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I don't see that he has such a great bargaining chip. The only requirement a typical contract would have is that the seller would have to fix any material defects that the inspection report shows. While he says there is a long list of electrical things cited by the inspector, it's possible that they all amount to only $500. The seller isn;t required to bring everything up to current code. In the group we've also seen frequently that home inspectors can flag things that actually are not problems. On;y way to find out is get an electrician in there.
In the case of the 30amp breaker on a 14 gauge wire I would require a visual inspection of the wire on that circuit at the points where it is accessible, eg at the panel, at switches, outlets, etc. If it all looks OK, no evidence of overheating, then I'd just put the correct fuse and not worry about it.
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On Wed, 06 Jul 2011 16:25:42 +0000, Locrian

You didn't mention that the inspector listed that. If it has a fuse box, basically have two choices. Leave it alone or change it all out.

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wrote:

My house is all fuses, all grounded. I know lots of fused 200 amp panels , all with everything properly grounded.
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