Fuse Boxes - Are They Safe?

By
Home Inspector with Complete Home Inspections, Inc.

Fuse Boxes - Are They Safe?            
     Many older properties still have fuse boxes. While, these antiquated devices are Fuse Boxokay, fuse panels, unless altered can be deemed safe. I consult my clients to consider replacing these with modern devices. Here's why:
     Older style fuse boxes serve the same purpose as circuit breaker boxes in that the fuse controls the amount of electrical current from appliances within a home.
However; fuse boxes are outdated by modern standards. The advantage to having circuit breakers in a home is that instead of replacing a fuse each time it is used, circuit breakers can be easily reset. In the event of an overloaded circuit, fuses have been proven to be more reliable and will "blow".  Replacing blown fuses can be frustrating, expensive and time consuming. Because it is easy to over-fuse circuits, may insurance companies will not insure fuse panels unless the S-type retro devices are installed. Even with these devices, some insurance carriers charge more to insure fuse panels.
     According to studies, faulty electrical wiring causes approximately forty thousand house fires annually. Like circuit breakers, fuses are used to prevent over heated wiring and fires by interrupting electrical currents in overloaded circuits. When a fuse blows or a circuit breaker trips, it is important to locate the source of the problem.
     For instance, if you have lights that seem to stop working frequently, you may have too many items connected to a single power source. Sometimes an appliance may have a short circuit; it could even mean a short circuit in the home’s internal wiring. In either case, it is best to have a professional in the appropriate trade evaluate the fuse box and wiring.
     As you would in a circuit breaker panel, label each fuse in the box. Labeling each fuse can make it easier to identify the suspect circuit. As a safety reminder, when replacing a fuse, turn everything off in the circuit to prevent electrocution.


This posting and the contents herein are the intellectual property of Michael Thornton of Complete Home Inspections, Inc. providing home inspections for Brentwood, Nashville, Davidson and Williamson County TN. This post is a contribution to the ActiveRain Real Estate Network.

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Complete Home Inspections, Brentwood TN 615.661.0297
 

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  2. Greg Gillespie 02/10/2012 12:29 PM
  3. Roy Kelley 02/10/2012 07:39 PM
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Comments 24 New Comment

Rainmaker
484,189
Curtis Van Carter
Napa Valley's Broker Extraordinaire in Yountville
Coldwell Banker Brokers ofthe Valley, Yountville Napa Valley

Michael

Thanks for some good info. There are quite a few older that still have fuse boxes especially in the City of Napa. 

February 10, 2012 12:37 PM
Rainmaker
554,948
Chris Smith
South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta
Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage

Electrical Panels with fuses were common in my first incarnation in Real Estate, but I think I have seen a total of three this time around... they are getting rare in New Tecumseth.

 

February 10, 2012 04:42 PM
Rainmaker
1,516,859
Dorie Dillard
Realtor-Canyon Creek- NW, Austin TX Homes For Sale
Coldwell Banker United Realtors

Good morning Michael,

Boy when it comes to electrical panels with fuses I can't say I have dealth with them. Most all homes I sell are newer. Labeling is a must! Great advice as always Michael.

February 11, 2012 02:49 AM
Rainmaker
1,223,784
Al & Peggy Cunningham Brokers, Brampton Ontario Homes For Sale 905-450-5500
RE/MAX Realty Services Inc.

Good topic Michael, up our way if the house has an old fuse box the insurance companies want it updated.  They will give the new owner 30 days after taking possession or cancel the insurance.

February 11, 2012 09:38 AM
Rainmaker
615,960
James Quarello
Connecticut Home Inspector
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC

I agree Michael, fuses are really a good circuit protection device. In fact they are probably better than breakers, but in our modern world convenience is always king. 

February 12, 2012 08:38 AM
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Michael Thornton

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