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#202298 - 07/30/11 10:27 AM Last fuse panels
switches Offline
New Member

Registered: 07/30/11
Posts: 9
Loc: FL
Hello,
I hope I'm asking this in the correct forum. What is the latest panel installed you saw that used fuses?

I have heard that some have seen them installed as late as 1972, 200 amp panels with fuses. I was surprised.

Was there anything in code that would prevent them from being installed today, given the proper adapters were used?

I think the first fuse 'panel' I saw was a simple ceramic fuse holder for some abandoned K&T wiring. It had two fuse holders, that I assume fused the hot and neutral sides of a single circuit. It was surface mounted about 6-7 feet from the floor, all exposed.

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#202300 - 07/30/11 11:39 AM Re: Last fuse panels [Re: switches]
sparkyinak Offline
Member

Registered: 07/08/07
Posts: 1295
Loc: Alaska
Hi switches, welcome to the board. I haven't ever install one or saw them installed on a newer building. I do remember seeing them in a catalog just a few years ago. I don't think anyone makes traditional fuse panel anymore. In theory one could be used but with the hassle to get it to meet code and usability of it, why would you?

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#202304 - 07/30/11 02:07 PM Re: Last fuse panels [Re: switches]
gfretwell Offline

Member

Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 9045
Loc: Estero,Fl,usa
My house in Md (built 1971) had a SqD fuse panel with "S" adapters.
As far as I know, you could install one today.
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Greg Fretwell

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#202306 - 07/30/11 05:27 PM Re: Last fuse panels [Re: switches]
HotLine1 Offline

Member

Registered: 04/03/02
Posts: 6804
Loc: Brick, NJ USA
I have to go with Greg; if you could find one,you could install it.

The only 'today' fuse panel that I know of, I saw in some Bussmann literature for selective coordination.
There are a few installed in a 'new' building at our county college.
_________________________
John

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#202310 - 07/30/11 05:54 PM Re: Last fuse panels [Re: switches]
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant
Member

Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 5305
Loc: Blue Collar Country
While there's no rule against having fuses for your overcurrent protection, I think you'd be torpedoed by a few other 'details.'

First off, I'm not sure there's room in a fuse box for a ground buss- or a place to terminate a ground wire from the feeder.

GFCI and, especially, AFCI protection might be a bit difficult to add.

I note the NEC has also banned screw-in fuses for 240v or multi-wire circuits.

Finally, I'm not sure I've even seen any fused panels that were even NEMA-3R rated- not even the ones mounted outdoors.

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#202312 - 07/30/11 06:15 PM Re: Last fuse panels [Re: switches]
HotLine1 Offline

Member

Registered: 04/03/02
Posts: 6804
Loc: Brick, NJ USA
Reno:

GREAT points with AFCI!! And 240 volt. I guess the roof shingles over the fuse box don't make it 3R today!
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#202316 - 07/30/11 08:17 PM Re: Last fuse panels [Re: switches]
gfretwell Offline

Member

Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 9045
Loc: Estero,Fl,usa
... But what about the "device type" AFCI? It's in the code, it must be everywhere. wink

The SqD panel I had was the same can that they would put a 200a breaker panelboard in. There were places drilled and tapped for ground buses. I added one myself.
I always wonder just how much the builder could have possibly saved by using fuses by the time he added 20 "S" adapters and all those fuses. I did end up with a spare pullout since the only 240v thing installed was the A/C unit.
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Greg Fretwell

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#202330 - 07/31/11 09:53 PM Re: Last fuse panels [Re: switches]
noderaser Offline
Member

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 405
Loc: Portland, Oregon, United State...
I've been thinking... Do you think using fuses would make it more likely that a homeowner would check out the problem when a problem exists, rather than just resetting the breaker switch over and over? Or would that just keep Cooper/Bussman in business? I'm thinking about overload/short situations. Anyone in the UK have experience with fuses in every plug; how often do you guys actually replace one? I suppose you probably see the gum-wrapper/nail fuse from time to time. I have a melted christmas light plug from one of those, courtesy of my Dad's "fixing".

Wouldn't a time-delay fuse actually be better for nuisance tripping (thinking spa/hot tub) versus a traditional breaker? Of course, you'd have to come up with GFCI some other way.
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http://www.hsiprodsvcs.com/

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#202332 - 07/31/11 10:06 PM Re: Last fuse panels [Re: switches]
gfretwell Offline

Member

Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 9045
Loc: Estero,Fl,usa
I think fuses, as long as the holder rejects a larger size are far safer than a breaker. There is a lot less to go wrong.

The scary thing is they make an S adapter for 20a fuses that also takes a 30. I see them on 15ga wire. My neighbor had a fuse box full of them. I finally talked her into a service upgrade.
_________________________
Greg Fretwell

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#202333 - 08/01/11 06:20 AM Re: Last fuse panels [Re: switches]
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant
Member

Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 5305
Loc: Blue Collar Country
Noderaser. you've hit on the 'grounds up or down' argument regarding fuses vs. circuit breakers.

All I can say is that I've seen very few over-size breakers, while over-fusing seems to be the norm. Plus, I've never had to try to buy a replacement breaker at 8PM Sunday evening.

(Well, almost never. I did get a service call where the 100-amp breaker feeding a subpanel failed at a laundromat- and that was at 11PM Sunday laugh )

As for troubleshooting skills- in all honesty, I'm not impressed by my own. I'm even less impressed by folks whose first assumption is that the breaker is 'weak' or the GFCI 'defective.'

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