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#202298 07/30/11 01:27 PM
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 15
S
Member
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.

Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,335
S
Member
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?

Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,663
Likes: 4
G
Member
My house in Md (built 1971) had a SqD fuse panel with "S" adapters.
As far as I know, you could install one today.


Greg Fretwell
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,282
Likes: 3
Member
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
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
Cat Servant
Member
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.

Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,282
Likes: 3
Member
Reno:

GREAT points with AFCI!! And 240 volt. I guess the roof shingles over the fuse box don't make it 3R today!


John
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,663
Likes: 4
G
Member
... 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.


Greg Fretwell
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 404
Member
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.

Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,663
Likes: 4
G
Member
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
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
Cat Servant
Member
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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