I'm in my first home, built 1938. I know almost nothing about
electrical wiring. I have an older fuse panel, as well as a breaker
box that most of my larger appliances are on. All of the screw-in
fuses currently in the box are 30amp. Since this box is mainly for
outlets and lights, it seems that the fuses are rated too high. I'm
assuming I have older, smaller gauge wiring, but I'm not sure. Based
on my searches through the postings, the fuses should probably be
rated 15 or 20 at the most. I think the former owner (affectionately
referred to as Jethro), probably put in the 30's 'cause he was blowing
fuses. Can I just take them all out and put in 15's and see what
happens? Do I need to turn everything off first (water heater, etc)?
Do I need to shut the main off? I can't afford to bring in an
electrician for atleast a few weeks.
The ouside of the "Bulldog" fuse box does say 30amps on it, if that
helps. I'm nervous about fire and want to do what I can to make
everything safe for now.
You should first determine what each fuse is doing (what stuff goes out when
you unscrew it?), and then replace all the 30's with 15's. You have very
few, if any, circuits qualifying for 30A protection. That has to be #10
wire, generally used for a dryer, maybe, or possibly a built-in cooktop.
Most of your housewiring is going to be 12 or 14; 12 is safe with a 20A
fuse, 14 needs a 15A fuse.
By taking off the front of the panel so you can see the connections, you can
see the size of wire associated with each fuse, but if you have no
familiarity with wiring you may not be able to tell just by looking what the
If you put in all 15's and then see what blows and when, you can narrow
things down. What you have right now is a fire waiting to happen.
If they made 100 amp fuses, ypu'd probably have them installed.
Back then, every IDIOT did it, and I want to stress the word "IDIOT".
Most wiring was #14, and that means use a 15 amp fuse and nothing
bigger. If it's a #12, then use a 20 amp. Only use a 30 amp on #10
wire (or thicker).
Using 30A fuses defeats the whole purpose of the fuse, and can start a
fire, and cause problems collecting insurance too.
Replace all of them with 15A, unless you are sure that there is a
thicker wire on that line.
I recommend the screw in breakers until you can afford to rewire with
modern breakers. By the time you buy about 5 fuses, you can pay for
the screw in breaker.
On 21 Jul 2003 09:39:21 -0700, email@example.com (durgidog) wrote:
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.