Why should I upgrade from fuses to circuit breakers? (and spend $1000-$1500)

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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Yes, but I wasn't really even referring to actual GI-Bill houses themselves but that the overall demand for housing at that time was tremendous and that demand alone predicated the abandonment of any style of construction that wasn't the most efficient possible in time and material -- and, specifically, that K&T was/is, if anything, labor-intensive on installation. Was just trying to supply some context to get Haller into at least the right half-century here.... :)
Was an interesting article in Fine Homebuilding a few months ago about the CA boom and how the only way a crew could make a living was to be absolutely the most efficient possible in everything. Was written by one of the early framers so was mostly from that viewpoint, but quite entertaining and informative, particularly if not old enough to remember the era personally.
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wrote:

house. Where does this stuff come from?
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my friend will had his insurance company sold and the new company checked every home.
currently a good friends main power line is in poor shape the cables out covering is falling apart from age and the head looks bad too.
he is to cheap to replace it and upgrade.......... of course he has K&T wiring too/
just the other day he admitted his home is a wreck. it doesnt belong to him its tied up till his death in a 30 year estate thingy.....
since it really belongsa to no one none want to spend money on repairs or upgrades. its a wierd situation
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wrote:

Well, we have a 30 year old rental property with fuses. We are "fixing it up" because our tenant moved on after about 8 years.
We didn't "upgrade" before because we were short of cash (we used our extra cash to get into a bigger house while keeping the old one as an investment.)
But now we have the time and money.
Why "upgrade?"
Our fusebox was on the small size with 12 single pole circuits plus two pole circuits for the AC, stove, and clothes dryer. The two pole circuits have two cartridge fuses in a holder.
The "upgrade" gets us:
1) MUCH better protection on the 240 volt circuits whereby a fault will completely clear the circuit rather than leaving it "half hot." In the 10 years we lived there we only blew a fuse on the 240 volts circuits once; it was from a loose wire inside the stove.
2) The potential to "un share" circuits as we can. Right now, for example, the dishwasher shares a circuit with a counter outlet (or two or ??).
3) The ability to add circuits. We want to put in an "over the oven" microwave. Without the upgrade we would have to "share" an existing circuit.
4) Too much on one circuit: the house was wired with one fuse controlling the "inner bath" lights AND the "sink outlet" AND the master bedroom ceiling AND the bedroom outlets.
5) NO spares.
6) Temptation to overfuse. Most of the wires I looked at (at the outlet/J-box) appear to be a lot of #14. The tenant doesn't have just 15 amp fuses in the box!
7) Occasional difficulty in restoring service after a fault. If you blow a cartridge fuse, it can be hard to get what you want. And you never seem to have the fuse you really want.
The bonus is the extra features you can get. The GFCI capability has been mentioned. (Although I tend to prefer GFCIs on individual outlets.) The "arc fault" breaker seems to me to offer some safety advantages. I noted, however, that the kitchen counter GFCI seems to have been messed up by crumbs from the toaster (or something?). Anyway, it didn't trip on the test switch. (It didn't "Fail Safe.") But that's a different topic.
Also, at least one make has provisions for a "dual feed" to the main bus whereby you have TWO "main" breakers. There is a mechanical interlock so that only one breaker can be "ON" at any time. Basically, you have a VERY high capacity transfer switch as part of your installation. Since my rental is "in town" that's not so important as power there is reliable.
Among our "upgrades" will be the removal of the crappy "paneling" used in a basement remodel. The junk wasn't rated for below grade use and it SHOWED. I will have all the walls in the basement exposed before the electrician comes for the upgrade. It will almost be like "New Work."
Often remodeling isn't cost effective. It's cheaper to sell you house and buy another with better "stuff" than to upgrade your own home. But beyond some point, the lack of upgrades will be such that no matter how well your home "shows," it's basically a "fixer upper."
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On 3 Jan 2007 05:26:52 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

imho:
Contact your insurance company, you might find they charge you a little extra since you have fuses. Also check with your accountant if there are any rebate, or tax benifits to upgrading your homes equipment.
Just some ideas.....
tom @ www.Consolidated-Loans.info
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when its time to SELL
you either take a really low price selling as is or are then forced to spend big bucks upgrading all the stuff you avoided spending money on.
so you styill spend it and probably more since inflation keeps on driving up prices and sadly you still spend the money but get zip use of it, if your finally fioxing up to sell.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

That is a flawed logic over-generalization, too. The money not spent on something unneeded was available for investment (or even other discretionary use) for that period of time and very may well have brought an equivalent or even higher return in the market than the differential on the house.
The point is, while there are valid reasons for upgrading service, "just because" isn't one of them.
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dpb wrote:

at home sale time fuses will be a big turn off, lack arc fault, and even if your home is otherwise perfect your sale price will likely be less
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

the cost of an upgrade, which shouldn't be all that large.
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You dont understand I recently sold a home about 90% of todays buyers want move in turn key homes with no issues.
probably not true of most posters here, but we like home repairs.
elminate 90% of shoppers makes selling a LOT HARDER
do you really want fewer peoiple interested in your home ecause it appears obsolete?
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Maybe, maybe not. Easy enough to rectify at the time if so.
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its really not a good idea to put off too much for time of sale
you might not have the bucks needed to do all that needs done
you might not have lots of time to do the upgrades
its often easy to avoid fixing or upgrading stuff, but some day you have to pay the piper.
odd people think nothing of buying a new car every 6 years at maybe 15 grand a shot but get all distraught about spending a grand upgrading their homes electrical system. heck atr ;least homes appreciate, vehicles just go down in value
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Question: How can you make it last an hour? Oh, wait, wrong question. Start over.
Question: Where can you get a new car for $15,000?
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HeyBub wrote:

I think any of the Korean brands have some decent cars around that price.
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The trick is to not crash a car every 6 months. If you have something worth trading in then it doesn't cost $30K/yr.
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HeyBub wrote:

My wifes cobalt was under that but my real point is most folks buy and trade, so the actual lowball cost might be 15 grand a pop.
like I said think of ALL the stuff you spend money on in a lifetime why should your homes electrical system be starved? it because its hidden and you cant see it......
if it was the focal point of your living room you wouldnt object to spending big bucks....
or sitting in your driveway, again its a display thing.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Again I reiterate -- no, this is a false analogy. I have items in my living room I look at every day that are 100 years old and are not going to be replaced (in fact, for some of them, their inherent value is tied directly to both that age and would be almost completely destroyed if they were to be "upgraded" and/or modified. The point is that _UNLESS_ there is an actual reason other than "because" there are more cost-effective places to put the investment and most people recognize that.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

And when the day comes, so be it. Until then, better investments are likely to be had elsewhere. Making those wisely takes care of the rest.
Again, I reiterate. There are reasons for upgrading. OP gave none that qualify including no indication of an anticipated need or desire to sell. You throw out straw men of "maybes" and "what ifs" and "future will be's". I have no problem w/ upgrading for any of the several circumstances previously itemized and a potential sale is possibly one altho rather far down on my list. Rarely, however, would that be such a precipitous event that w/ even the barest modicum of planning it couldn't be accommodated in a timely fashion if deemed desirable a priori. In most instances unless there is a serious problem which as I have already agreed _should_ have been previously resolved, it is plenty early enough to have it be part of any negotiations given an offer in hand. You can accept an offer, reject an offer, provide a counter-offer and get the value you think necessary. If you're uncomfortable enough about dealing with it in that fashion so you want to do something ahead of time, then again, fine; that's your privilege. Just don't try to make it that your way is the only way as others simply don't see the world w/ the same set of lenses. ...
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well arc fault breakers can prevent fires.....
is that not another reason to upgrade? safety?
i know folks who buy new cars to get air bags and other safety equiptement.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Possibly. What fraction of household electrical fires are fuse-panel-related/caused to begin with? What fraction would replacement of the fuse panel w/ a circuit breaker panel prevent? What fraction of those would a arc-fault breaker of those prevent that?
I don't have statistics, but I'd venture the relative risk of the automobile being involved in an accident is multiple times that of the fire risk that a replacement fuse panel would have prevented so the differential benefit is heavily weighted on the side of the car vis a vis the panel.
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