I'm thinking mabee it's time to replace my old fuse panel with a
Problem is, the new panels are not even a close match to the old
panel. The existing panel is surface mounted with the main switch/fuse
on the left, with the power feed coming in from the back in the lower
corner. All the "load" wires come in the top. They come out through
the plywood service board and then enter thepanel within inches. This
does not allow much flexibility.
The closest I've found so far is a Schnieder StabLok panel, but I
would need to mount it sideways. No problem with the main breaker as
it would be oriented on up, as required by code. The feed would need
to come in through an elbow through the bottom of the box instead of
the back as the new panel is significantly smaller.
I can make all this work - but then half of the load breakers are
upside-down. Don't know if that is an issue here in Canada - aparently
it is not allowed in the USA. I guess I could always restrict myself
to half capacity (use a 40 circuit panel as a 20)
The only problem I can forsee is some know-it-all home inspector
seeing the FPE on the panel and demanding a future buyer replace the
dang thing because early FPE StabLok breakers got a REAL bad name in
the USA (rightly or wrongly). We will likely be selling in the next 5
years or so (which is the MAJOR reason I'm even thinking about
replacing the panel in the firstr place.
On Oct 29, 9:32 pm, email@example.com wrote:
It is clear that this project is beyond your skill level...
First you are looking for a panel with an identical layout to the
one you have installed now... -1...
Second you had not thought at all about removing your present
fuse box guts and using it as a junction box, extending all of
the existing wires through conduits to a new circuit breaker
panel installed next to the existing one, then obtaining a piece
of sheet metal of the proper thickness to correctly cover
the old fuse box...
Then there is no fusing around with any of the old wiring
removing them from the old panel and installing them into
the new one, old wires sometimes lose their flexibility and
it would really suck to have to trace circuits back and
install new home runs or have to work with many junction boxes
out and away from the panel...
Call an electrician to do this for you...
Not an option Not enough space, and besides that it would look like
heck as well. Would sure turn off any future buyer.
Not a chance. The wire is in VERY good condition. And I've done a LOT
of this work in the past. Used to work wit my dad, who was an
electrician, and actually wired this house back in the early
Even if I decided to get an electrician to do the job I am the one
choosing what goes in and what it is going to look like when it is
done. I know there are lots of ways this can be done that would be FAR
less than optimal. Anything less tha RIGHT, it will stay the way it is
- because there is nothing WRONG with it the way it is. In 30 years
the only fuses I've had to replace have been from jamming the table
saw or starting the compressor when it was too cold and stiff.
ANd it DOES still have 2 spare circuits available.
I do know, however, that any half-assed home inspector hired by a
future buyer would flag the fused panel. And I've never met a home
inspector that was anything better than half-assed - period. They pick
on small unimportant stuff and miss the big expensive important stuff.
"you don't want this house, there's no dish washer, and the switch
plate in the bathroom is cracked" and they don't catch the bad grading
that causes water to flood into window wells in heavy rain, or the
blistered cast iron drain stack, or even the extention cords, or even
telephone wire, used to wire the rec room. Went through that before we
bought this place 30 years ago without an inspection. I checked this
place myself and no problems I wasn't aware of. I knew the windows
were cheap contractor windows that would eventually need replacing,
along with the roof - I replaced the roof 7 years later, and the
windows starting after 15 years, finishing this year.
On Oct 29, 11:44 pm, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
You are concerned about it "looking like heck" when you are trying
to find the one ideal panel which would be a drop in replacement, oh
and you are concerned about the name on the new panel...
Grow up... Seriously... Either do it right or leave it alone...
Your problem was with where your feeder cable was running,
and that is one of the easier things to replace as usually the
meter can and the panel aren't all that far away from each other...
So that is one problem that seems to be driving your decision
eliminated... As to the other, the wires all coming in at the top,
another person suggested here that you install a trough and then
use sections of conduit to feed the circuits into the new panel...
You could do that if you wanted or use the old panel as the
junction box as I suggested, (oh but wait you said it was too
close to the window or some foolishness, hmmm, perhaps the
new panel could go on the other side of the window -- why not
show us a picture of the area so that more information is
available to make the recommendation) which is an acceptable
option if you replace the cover plate with one which has no
openings in it (some inspectors are good with a screw fixing
the door in place and others want a solid piece metal cover plate)
I would also upgrade to 200 amp service at this point in time,
as a different respondent told you your choices are not going to
be the same as the new buyer of your house when it sells...
Plug-in hybrid cars are becoming more popular, and while the
capability to recharge overnight (10-12 hours) using a standard
15 amp, 120 volt cord is nice and all, a lot of people who buy
plug-in hybrid cars want to be able to recharge their cars more
quickly and that requires a 240 volt outlet using as much
amperage as a 40 amp electric stove...
But it is your choice, your money and your hard luck if your
house ends up interesting yuppie/hippie types and you have
to fix a whole punch list of things really quickly (thus costing
more money for the time pressure) versus making your upgrades
on your own time table...
if its so easy just do it all once...... changing the main entrance
cable to support 200 amps will solve many of the install issues. 90%
of all home buyers demand a home in perfect condition ready to move
in. a electrical make do can discourage lots of buyers
drywall is cheap, open the wall and do it right
once you put your home on the market / or under sales agreement all
repairs must be done by registered contractors. all buyers will want
receipts. this runs up the costs a lot
Well, I've checked some more.
Waterloo North Hydro requires a "service plan" I think they call it on
all panel changes. They WILL require the meter base to be changed if a
permit is pulled and an inspection done. They will NOT allow stub
conduits, although Kitchener does? or at least did. My electrical
contractor friend is checking to see if they still allow 2 cables in
one clamp/knockout going into the panel.
If WNH requires the meter base to be replaced, it can be raised 4
inches, making the new panel fit (still sideways) (assuming WNH allows
the changed meter location) - so the service plan is step #1 tomorrow.
If the meter base is changed it WILL get a 200 amp panel.
If WNH wants the whole service moved they can stuff it - the old panel
Too bad it's an Amalgamated 4320 instead of a 4220 panel - the 4220
would be a candidate for a "guts transplant", while the 4320 is not.
Too bad you live in such a benighted jurisdiction. In mine, one calls the
power company to unseal the meter. Once they do that, the homeowner or
electrician pulls the meter, makes whatever changes he feels are
appropriate, then calls the power company to re-seal the meter. End of
On Oct 30, 10:46 pm, email@example.com wrote:
How is the meter located WRT the panel? If it's significantly higher
I would be tempted to punch through the exterior wall in a location
that will allow you to use a modern panel, then yes, you will have to
patch the hole in the siding where the old conduit came through. But
that seems like the best solution to me.
As VERY plainly stated before, the meter base is DIRECTLY through the
wall from the panel. Ends up I may not have much choice - WNH
requires a "service layout" that I MUST comply with - which MAY
require moving the meter base, or MAY allow moving the meter base, but
WILL require replacing it.
Find out next week what is involved - which will make my descision
whether it gets done at all or not.
On Oct 30, 10:46 pm, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
It is sounding more and more like you are bitching because a
drop-in replacement doesn't exist...
If you think that you are going to be able to do this without
opening the wall... LOL... Good luck...
It seems you are only receptive to specific advice here which
fits into your already pre-determined vision of how this work
should be able to be done...
Again... Either do it right or leave it the fuck alone, if your
insurance is connected to it and all, then oh well, I guess you
will have to keep things they way they are now and your
descendants can worry about it after your passing...
On Oct 29, 9:32 pm, email@example.com wrote:
how many amps is the main? 200 is todays standard
the main cable and meter can are 40+ years old, even if they appear
fine 40 years is a long time
how many circuits does the current main panel support? the higher the
main amp rating the more the number of circuits.
your far better off replacing the entire service drop, upgrading if
needed the grounding, and installing a new 200 amp main panel/
FBE richly deserves the reputation it earned. that panel should go for
do get the install inspected home inspectors now checvk on that and
or have endless hassles at home sale time:(
The meter can is totally separate from the service panel, and the
panel is in a dry semi-finished area - like new inside and out.
The current main panel supports 2 cartrige blocks for stove and range,
as well as 20 standard "plug" fuses. currently there are 2 spare
circuits in the panel. This is equivalent to a 24 circuoit breaker
the StabLok 100 amp load centers are available with 16 to 40 circuits
It's an underground service
The good ones do. Most of them up here are half blind and stupid.
And if properly installed, they would not be able t tell it had been
replaced in the last 10 years. However, inspection is not an issue.
Will be required by the insurance company anyways when I switch
insurers - which is another reason I'm considering doing it NOW.
I moved my car insurance from the insurer I've been with for 53 years,
who currently also insure the house. The new insurer wants an
On Oct 30, 9:36 am, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
obviously you have ruled out a upgrade to 200 amps.:(
What your missing is a perspective buyer may anticipate a lifestyle
requiring more than 100 amps.
So the buyer and home inspector have this conversation.
The main panel is new and looks perfect, but the main entrance cable
is a underground line probably dating back to the time the home was
built. that cable may be in poor condition, its underground. and in
any case its limited to 100 amps, just half of the typical new service
the buyer may prefer all sorts of new electrical things and you have
just discouraged a sale.......
if thats what you want thats fine....
ultimately its your wallet.......
Actually, Waterloo North Hydro apparently provisioned all of the
houses in this neighbourhood the same - 200 amp feeders.
The house is small enough(1300 square feet) that 200 amps would be
overkill without electric heat. or a heavy duty shop or pottery kiln.
buyers want 200 amps because it gives them room to grow....
add AC, a electric stove, and electric dryer. and there you go 200
while 100 amps is plenty for YOU theres no way for you to know what
the buyer may want.....
by not upgrading you will be locking out a bunch of buyers
Nope. The house has electric range, AC, and electric drier, but a gas
water heater and furnace. With the AC, range (all 4 stovetops plus the
broiler on at the same time) and the drier running you are still well
under 100 amps.
200 amps is a REQUIREMENT with electric heat
If THEY want 200 amps they can change the breaker and pay for the
service upgrade if required. They won't have to change the panel.
thanks you point out something I have been posting here for years.
homeowners insurance companies frequentky REQUIRE a inspection before
writing a new policy.....
some posters here claimed this wasnt occuring.
check your home for obvious defencies, things like age and condition
of roof, presence of K&T wiring, your current issue a fuse box, bad
sidewalks, things like trip hazards, overall condition of home, do all
stairs have handrails? any debris under a porch or piled up in yard,
you go away on extended vacations? or snowbird to a winter home?
all of these and more can either raise or homeowners cost or make
getting insurance impossible
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