My house still has fuses. The other day there was no power to the
kitchen, so I went down and started looking at the fuses. One seemed
somewhat burned and the nearby (almost useless) chart indicated that
it was the dishwasher fuse, so I pulled it. That knocked out the light
in the basement room that I was standing in. Nonetheless, I put in a
new fuse, and my light came back on, and my Significant Other called
down to say that I had fixed it.
Sure enough, the power was back on in the kitchen. But how can that
be, when the same fuse controlled the lights in the room I was in, and
those were on with that same bad fuse?
I have no idea what happened.
Must have had just enough filament left to let a light bulb burn but
not enough to power the dishwasher. Newer circuit arrangement would
separate kitchen (particularly any appliance even if no more than a
dishwasher) from a lights circuit.
And if you really believe that, dpb, come see me about a bridge I have
for sale at a bargain price.
By the way, fuses don't have filaments, they have links.
Sheesh, where do some people get their ideas from. <G>
Might have been an adjacent fuse which had crept loose enough to open
the circuit which the OP tightened without remembering doing so, or
perhaps a "loose disconnection" of the kitchen feed line at the fuse
panel which jiggled into contact through the OP's activities.
Whatever, remember that problems which go away by themselves usually
come back by themselves.
It's probably time to give that fusebox and the connections inside it a
thourough going over, or replacement with a breaker panel.
Actually, Jeff, I got that "idea" from an actual incident where a fuse
did leave a tiny trace that made a connecting path through it and made
a symptom quite similar to that described by OP. Only seen it once in
some 60 years, and that was some 30 years ago, but it did occur.
Because what was left wasn't much more than a tracing, I used the word
"filament" to describe it. I doubt it would have lasted much longer
when I discovered it, but it did have enough of a path left to let a
single bulb in the pumphouse burn (albeit somewhat dimly) for at least
a short while when a drill I plugged into the outlet didn't have enough
power to more than hum (which is what was the cause for finding it).
I'm sure it probably would have -- that's just the sequence of how I
found the problem. Was an interesting/peculiar failure mode I've only
seen the one time. Whether the fuse was initially defective and had a
trace "sneak path" or the failure caused it I have no way of knowing.
Must be different fathers though.
I just read through a thread on replacing fuses with circuit breakers
and the answer was, no, not unless something is wrong. So I'll have an
electrician just take a look at it and replace it if something is
I agree. The problem with fuses is that each one costs money, but for
every thousand dollars it costs to change from a fuse box to a circuit
breaker box, you could buy more than 1000 fuses. It might take 500
years to use 1000 fuses.
I did ponder that before I "grinned" and jumped down your throat, but
since the OP didn't mention that the light which WAS on was burning
dimly, I couldn't make what you said play.
I don't doubt that you saw what you did back then. I'd make a WAG that
the fuse may have slowly evaporated off metal molecules from its link
which deposited as a conducting metal film across the insulating
portions inside the fuse until the link either opened and current flowed
through the deposits, or the link itself got so thin its resistance
increased to cause what you saw. But I'd expect that bulb in the
pumphouse was a pretty low wattage one, huh?
I think it's possible, but on average, it ain't the way to bet.
Happy New Year,
Yeah, it's funny how those odd-ball events come back as possible
scenarios. On the follow-up I got to really trying to recall the
incident and do remember being able to see the filament in the bulb
glowing as opposed to a full light output but wasn't thinking of that
when I responded to OP, just that the fuse appeared blown but still had
a voltage path w/ limited current capacity. I'm sure if it had been
night instead of day or that there weren't windows in there so I had
been tossed into the dark I'd have remembered more clearly! :) As for
what was there at the time, I have no idea. Normally I keep a 100W'er
in it as it is also the oilhouse and other storage as it's the only
heated outbuilding other than the farrowing house which isn't too
suitable for storing much other than pigs. :)
Would be interesting to know from OP whether if he went down and now
removed that single fuse whether both the dishwasher and light go out
or whether, as you noted (and I suspect you're probably right) he had a
second fuse that was loose that he either tightened checking or
inadvertently futzing around.
I won't get home till late tonight but I will give it a try soon and
post back. The same fuse also knocked out the computers on the second
floor. As I mentioned in another reply, I'll contact the guy I bought
the house from and see what he remembers.
There was at least some power to the drill. The OP said the kitchen
was "dead", but of course it might have only been comatose. Maybe
there was nothing to hum, and not enough for a light to glow, but it
was getting some current.
Thats how it was wired when the dishwasher was installed.
Today it wouldnt pass code, back then it might have been OK or someone
added a dishwasher and tapped power from a convenient place.
Its past time to upgrade to breakers and iunstall some dedicated
circuits for heavy fixed loads
I think you missed the fundamental question -- which was why/how the
light was still burning but the dishwasher on the same circuit wouldn't
start, not that both were on the circuit.
Unless has some other indication of a problem like blowing fuses
consistently or similar, there's no indication of an actual safety
issue here that would necessitate that.
Would need far more information on condition of wiring and so on before
I would make any such blanket assertion.
Someone added a dishwasher. I lived down the block from the house I
own now, and remember when several families bought dishwashers
together. It was a big deal. I smeared peanut butter on a plate to see
how it would clean. I must have been 10.
Fuses are for igniting dynamite. If your house has fuses you are
probably living in a home thats ready to explode. I'd suggest calling
the Federal Bureau of Alcohol Firearms and Tobacco and telling them
your house is armed with explosives. There should never be fuses in
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